Islam-Filipino communities here requested the Department of Agriculture (DA) Friday for a separate halal-certified abattoir for permissible food preparation for them.
In an open forum Friday for the Islam-Filipino Community Paralegal Program, the members discussed their feelings toward having a halal-certified slaughterhouse to ensure that domestic fowls and bovines for their consumption are being prepared based on Islamic law.
Leo Sagdaan said they are not confident at present that chicken and cattle meats coming out of the slaughterhouse in the city are fit for their consumption because they’re not halal-prepared.
He said this is because based on their knowledge and observation, the same facilities are being used to also prepare domesticated swines.
Sagdaan explained further that in 2014, they already submitted a document to the City Agriculture Office (CAO) regarding the possible construction of a slaughterhouse for halal, but since the existing is being operated by a private entity, their appeal remains hanging.
In reply, Engr. Renato Manantan, regional director of the DA- Region IV-B, said they have a program that supports the Halal Industry, and included in this are animal and crop productions and regulations because Islam-Filipino communities are also growing in population in the province.
Secretary Yasmin Busran- Lao, official of the said community, shared that as of current, 10% of the total population of Palawan are Muslims.
Halal means permissible, and the rules of slaughter are based on Islamic law. The animal has to be alive and healthy, a Muslim has to perform the slaughter in the appropriate ritual manner, and the animal’s throat must be cut by a sharp knife severing the carotid artery, jugular vein and windpipe in a single swipe. Blood must be drained out of the carcass.
Accordingly, in non-halal slaughterhouses, stunned animals are shackled and hoisted above the ground where a slaughterman “sticks” them, cutting their throat or inserting a chest stick close to the heart. Cattle and some sheep and pigs are stunned by a bolt through the brain before being killed.
The open forum with the Islam-Filipino community was part of the three-day training organized to strengthen their awareness on human rights in Islam, basic constitutional rights (due process of law, rights of the accused, searches and seizures); PNP Operations Manual; how to identify and analyze legal issues in factual scenarios, legal remedies and services offered by the Commission on Human Rights, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).(PNA)