ARMM halal lab acquires P9.8 million worth of equipment
Cotabato City – The Department of Trade and Industry in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DTI-ARMM) turned over today P9.8 million worth of laboratory equipment to ARMM’s Regional Standards and Halal Testing Laboratory (RSHTL) in this city.
The testing lab, run by ARMM’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST), was put up in 2011 as part of the region’s plan to become center of credible halal certification and the halal industry in the country.
Myra Alih, DOST-ARMM secretary, said the testing lab is going to be initially manned by seven Muslim chemists who have undergone rigid trainings on halal laboratory procedures and testing, four of whom are set to take further training at the Halal Science Center in Cholalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
“This is a breakthrough development for ARMM, especially in our bid to become the country’s halal industry hub,” Alih said.
She said the RSHTL will go into full operation next week, offering services that include microbial and halal analysis clients based within and outside of the region.
The facility is the first and only halal testing laboratory in the region. The ARMM government is hoping to establish similar facilities in other strategic areas.
Sakiran Hajan, DTI-ARMM secretary, said funds for the acquisition of the lab equipment were taken from the Transition Investment Support Plan (TISP) for ARMM.
“The equipment are mostly high-end and digital. This places us at par with other testing laboratories elsewhere,” he said.
DTI-ARMM also sponsored the trainings of the lab’s personnel.
Alih said consumers and regulators anywhere tend to put premium on credibility when it comes to halal products.
She said ARMM’s being a Muslim-dominated region provides an advantage. (bpi)