DA urges LGUs to build halal food plants in CSur
By Paulo DS. Papa
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional office recently urged local government units in Camarines Sur including the Naga City government to build halal-certified dressing plants.
Halal when preferring to food, is a Quranic term that means permitted, free of impurities and allowed to be eaten in accordance of Sharia law.
Muslim communities in Naga City and Camarines Sur have to pay twice the price of halal chicken from Region 4A where halal-certified dressing plants are operating.
Rosita M. Imperial, DA Bicol halal focal person, told Bicol Mail that the halal-certified facilities are needed by the growing Muslim community in the province.
She said Muslim consumers in the province have to pay high price to buy chicken products, which are processed in accordance with the Islamic law.
“We encouraged the local government units na kung pwede makapagpatayo ng kahit na maliit muna na dressing plant. Meron naman po tayong standard for halal dressing plant na kailangan lang natin sundin para masabi natin na halal chicken po siya,” she said.
Datu Mike Mustapha, president of the Naga City Muslim Community, in an interview said, that there is a halal slaughterhouse in Legazpi City, Albay but building one in Naga City and in Camarines Sur is very much needed for the local Muslim community in the province.
He said they have to hire private Muslim butchers to ensure that the process of slaughtering is legal based on Islamic law. He added, halal slaughtering should be conducted by Muslim butchers who will perform Islamic rituals in the process.
Muslim people are allowed to eat meat products (except for pork and meat from animals not mentioned in Quran) prepared and processed using sanitized equipment.
Other kinds of food, without alcohol, narcotic drugs, sex hormones, ethylene oxide, fermented malt, collagen, insulin, and lard are also permitted for consumption.
Aside from pork and its products, animal blood, double-dead meat, meat from animals killed inhumanely and meat from carnivorous animals and reptiles are considered as “Haram,” a Quranic term for forbidden.
He said there are some 2,000 Muslim residents in Naga City.