There is a need to strengthen the halal industry in the Philippines to attract more tourists, Vice President Sara Duterte said following separate courtesy calls by the ambassadors of Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.
A statement by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) said Duterte, who is also Education secretary, agreed to establishing programs aimed at strengthening the halal industry to better serve Muslims and foreign tourists.
Halal means food and products permitted by the laws of Islam.
Malaysian Ambassador Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino and Brunei Darussalam Ambassador Megawati Manan, in separate courtesy calls on Thursday, said boosting the halal industry in the Philippines will make the country more friendly for Muslim communities.
"With regard to the halal industry, yes, I agree with you," Duterte told Megawati, adding that when she was Davao City mayor, she created a council to discuss how to boost the halal industry in the city.
She said before her term as mayor ended, the city government was able to establish a halal slaughterhouse.
Malik, on the other hand, told Duterte that the potentials of halal industries, including cosmetics, may be explored.
The OVP statement said the envoys also expressed interests in nurturing respective areas of cooperation in the field of education, tourism development, trade and industry, and in deepening the bilateral relations between the countries. —KBK, GMA Integrated News