The construction of country’s first Halal slaughterhouse is now nearing completion and will soon become operational.
The ₱20-M pioneer facility, located in Cotabato City will have a capacity of 15 heads for cattle, 10 heads for carabao and 40 heads for goat per hour. It is funded under the DA’s livestock development program.
The slaughterhouse is expected to supply Halal products for both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers in Cotabato, Central Mindanao and even other regions.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala visited the facility last week as part of DA-Region 12’s Ulat sa Bayan and Peace Caravan activities.
The facility is currently rated as an “AA” slaughterhouse but the Secretary said that the DA can later facilitate the acquisition of necessary equipment such as cold storage for it to have a triple “A” rating. An “AAA” slaughterhouse can be accredited to process meat for export.
“There is a potential to supply the BIMP-EAGA [Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area], so I encourage stakeholders to sit together and produce a Halal livestock roadmap,” Alcala said.
The Secretary committed to send team from the undersecretary for livestock to facilitate in the crafting of roadmap so this can be integrated in the DA’s 2016 budget. He also pledged that the DA will assist the province in embarking into a silage development program, and a Halal livestock genetic improvement program, which will include an initial provision of top livestock breeds such as Anglo Nubian goat and Brahman cattle.
As the Muslim region is also a big consumer of chicken meat, Secretary Alcala also initially endorsed the request of the city veterinarian for a Halal poultry dressing plant.
“Through these interventions, we want to show to that the government is sincere in promoting lasting peace in Mindanao… We want to see our brothers here no longer carrying guns, but tools in farming,” Alcala said.