05 May

Philippines Businesses Urged To Be More Muslim-Friendly


 THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) encouraged business establishments to observe procedures and put up special areas in their establishments to initiate a Muslim-friendly environment.

During the Philippine National Halal press conference held last Wednesday, May 2, at Marco Polo Hotel, Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado suggested a few points that business establishments in the city may try to follow.

“For those in the hotels, you can put directional signs where Qiblah is. There should also be Bible and Koran even if not really available for room, at least the guest should be able to request it on the front desk when they want to. These are simple things. In our offices, there should be prayer rooms and prayer mats. There should also be a kitchen separate intended for Muslims. I suggest there should also be ablution area,” said Terrado.

As for tourism areas especially those that have beach and pool facilities, Terrado encouraged that these establishments to welcome the guests’ use of burkini or the halal swimwear. She said it is actually modest and lovely to look at.

For restaurants, she said it would be good to practice basic food and sanitation standards. If they are capable, a separate kitchen where Halal food will be prepared will also be a good idea. For supermarkets and other smaller grocery stores, Terrado suggested there should be designated halal food storage as well as designated halal lane.

In Davao City, a Halal lane ordinance has already taken effect. This ordinance requires supermarkets to allot a special lane and shelves for Halal-certified products.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez applauded this ordinance of Davao City and said he wish other local government units (LGUs) would follow suit as well.

“We encourage all LGUs to integrate Halal in their business systems at the way they will also encourage business institutions to be Halal-certified,” said Lopez. 

Terrado said these simple gestures of being conscious are good measures for the country towards a Muslim-friendly business district.

“These are very simple and practical things. But only if we do it daily, the level of awareness and the degree by which we preserve the sanctity and the integrity of our standards, it will become a way of life,” said Terrado.

This Article is Originally Published by www.sunstar.com.ph


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