MANILA – Copies of the Halal assurance system manual will be available to the public soon, an executive of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute said on Tuesday.

"The draft manual will be submitted to an editor for further editing. Once finalized, the manual will be given to a publisher for printing and (this will also be) accessible online," ITDI Director Anabelle Briones told the Philippine News Agency.

Briones added that the ITDI is currently preparing the required documents to be submitted to the National Library for the manual's copyright application.

A printing company will be hired, and hardcopies will be available once printing is done, aside from making it available online.

The Halal assurance system manual, she said, will serve as reference materials for intended users such as food processors, industry partners, and the general public.

Developed by ITDI researchers, Briones described the manual as a valuable reference material to food processors or exporters applying for Halal certification of their products intended for both local and international markets.

"This manual for specific products (ingredients such as round black pepper or powdered black pepper, dried and powdered onion, garlic, and chili) is one of the requirements being asked by the certified Halal auditors during Halal audit. Upon compliance with the requirements, a certificate will be issued by an accredited Halal certifying body. A Halal logo can then be attached to the certified product with a validity of two years," Briones said.

In a taped report aired on Friday, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the ITDI researchers developed prototype products of the select food ingredients using the international Halal-accredited facility of the Institute.

"Hazard analysis critical control points was also designed for the select food ingredients, he said.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier encouraged businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to explore the “halal” market.

In November last year, World Halal Union president Ahmet Gelir said the worldwide market for halal products has reached USD7 trillion.

He said some 1.86 billion Muslims in 57 Islamic countries and other parts of the world have tended to seek information on what they produce and consume.

In the Philippines, more than 6 million or 6 percent of the country’s population are Muslims, according to the 2015 Census of Population. (PNA)