Davao, Sox to tap ‘halal’ mart

September 9, 2015 5:17 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Sept. 7 (PNA) — Two Mindanao regions are courting Muslim tourists to visit the region by putting up more restaurants that serve certified halal foods.

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) regional directors for Davao and Soccskargen or simply, Sox, the plan was to gradually make the region more halal-friendly for Muslim tourists as well as residents.

“We’re losing (potential) Muslim tourists because they don’t know where to eat,” DOT-XI (Davao) regional director Roberto Alabado III told reporters in an interview.

Alabado pointed out that the lack of halal-certified restaurants in the country somehow dampened Muslim tourists’ desire to visit the country.

Halal, in Arabic means "permissible" or "lawful."

Data from the Washington-based think tank Pew Research Center showed that as of 2010, 23 percent of the global population, or 1.6-billion people, belonged to Islam.

Alabado said that if the plan were to eventually reach out to Muslim tourists, which he said were a niche market, the region should push for efforts to add restaurants that cater to their needs.

Meanwhile, DOT XII (Soccskargen) regional director Nelly Dillera, in a separate interview, said that the region was also slowly positioning itself as the center of halal food and tourism in the country.

Soccsksargen stands for the four provinces and independent cities in Region XII namely South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City.

The local government, however, has adapted the brand Sox as it is easier to pronounce and spell.

Cotabato City is home to the recently-opened and biggest halal-accredited slaughterhouse in the country. Currently, Davao is also pushing for a halal-accredited slaughterhouse in the region. (PNA)

RMA/ANP

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