THE PHILIPPINE Trade Training Center-Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA) is looking into offering training in Halal-compliant animal slaughter in partnership with the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

PTTC-GMEA Deputy Executive Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera told BusinessWorld that the partnership with TESDA is due to the latter’s facilities for Halal slaughter, including laboratories.

“One thing we’re looking at is to help train people in terms of Halal slaughter. We’ll be partnering with TESDA because they have the facilities… We’re looking at Halal slaughter as a training program we can implement in partnership with TESDA,” she said.

Halal slaughter requires a special ritual prescribed by Islamic law before an animal is killed. The accepted procedure forbids the infliction of pain on animals and requires that feed be Halal-compliant. Ms. Dillera stressed that not all cattle and chicken in the Philippines are considered Halal to even undergo the ritual slaughtering.

Ms. Dillera said that facilities are available in Manila but limited trained staff, either as butchers or trainers.

“There is a slaughterhouse here but there are no slaughterers yet. Certain government agencies are addressing the physical structure part but we’re going to address the soft skills and the training,” she said. Ms. Dillera added that a trainer will be flown in from Malaysia to support the program.

PTTC-GMEA is also looking into providing training and education in Halal kitchen basics for compliant food preparation and cooking.

“The equipment has to be different from the ones used with non-Halal…(Also another) Halal kitchen requirement is having a Muslim employee in the kitchen,” Ms. Dillera noted.

Ms. Dillera said Halal observance is growing and the agency is seeing demand from entrepreneurs interested in providing compliant products and services.

“We have a lot of big companies and a lot of small companies which produce products they say are Halal. We have chicken, meat products and even drinks that are considered Halal. It has to undergo several processes before they can claim on their labels that it’s Halal,” Ms. Dillera stressed.

While Mindanao has a number of established Halal slaughter and food preparation facilities and laboratories, she also added that Manila needs to put up more if the Halal hospitality industry is to develop.

“It’s very important to put one here because the entry point of Halal conscious travellers will likely be Manila, which is why we plan to do the training here in Manila,” she said.

PTTC is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, and partners with other government agencies and private organizations to conduct training and seminars for entrepreneurs and exporters, mostly from the Micro, Small, and Medium enterprises. — Gillian M. Cortez