HomeGood MSMEReviving Hope: How this Business Initiative is Supporting Local Halal Products in...

Reviving Hope: How this Business Initiative is Supporting Local Halal Products in Post-Conflict Marawi

Supporting Local Halal Products in Post-Conflict Marawi
The TALES of Marawi project is set to empower small businesses selling halal products. PNA photo.

Halal products made by the Maranao people will now be given a push forward in the TALES of Marawi project.

Set to boost the city’s economy, the TALES of Marawi initiative aims to encourage local halal entrepreneurship. The primary beneficiaries of the program are survivors of the 2017 Marawi siege, a five-month-long armed conflict that left the place devastated and made thousands flee their homes.

Overall, TALES of Marawi sets its gaze on promoting the indigenous culture of the Islamic city. The government program will provide training sessions for budding entrepreneurs and advertise the products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Over 100 MSMEs are set to benefit from the project through various capacity-building initiatives. The project was allocated a PHP 66 million budget by the DTI.

The project, which is also known as Phase 2 of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) program, was signed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao-Ministry of Trade, Investment, and Tourism (BARMM-MTIT) on August 10, 2023. The task force was initially created in 2017 to kickstart rehabilitation and recovery efforts after the siege; Phase 1 of the program distributed livelihood starter kits, supplied small businesses with equipment and machinery, and formed retail spaces for internally displaced persons’ enterprises.

TALES of Marawi will run from August 2023 to July 2024. At the signing, BARMM-MTIT Minister Abuamri Taddik said, “The TALES of Marawi encompasses far more than mere reconstruction efforts.” Quoting Taddik, a Bangsamoro press release echoed that the project stands for:

  • T: Touring for the vibrant Marawi culture;
  • A: Appreciating its abundant culinary heritage;
  • L: Learning from its stories of resilience and triumph against extremists;
  • E: Exploring its unique landscape and customs;
  • S: Sharing the essence of togetherness [and] concord in Marawi

“In particular, the projects and activities shall provide services to project beneficiaries relating to livelihood, entrepreneurship, investment, financial literacy, marketing access, and other services necessary for the establishment of a business, efficiency, and sustainability of business operations, effective business management, and improvement of products or services,” DTI said on its website.

The project is seen as a progressive move for economic development as halal is a booming industry worldwide. The national government previously pledged to expand the local halal industry under Republic Act No. 9997.

“This would also open more business opportunities for our Muslim brothers and sisters to address the needs of the USD 2.3 trillion market of the global halal food industry. Acquiring even a tiny bit of this cake – let’s say 0.1 percent, or USD 2.3 billion to USD 3.4 billion – would still greatly contribute to the country’s economic recovery and growth,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual noted during the signing.

The project will also support the creative industry of Marawi, particularly fabrics, handicrafts, and various souvenirs. “Of the PHP66 million budget we asked a portion of it for us to buy equipment for our [handicraft] livelihood,” Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. stated in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA). The project will also lend a hand to promoting local tourism.

“[The program is] very timely as the people of Marawi are back on their feet since they are in the process of rebuilding their homes and businesses,” Adiong expressed in the PNA interview. As quoted in the Bangsamoro press release, BARMM-MTIT Director General Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo added that the agency aims to portray BARMM as a “beacon of hope that has potential in the international market”.

In 2015, the Philippines became the first non-Muslim country to adopt harmonized halal product standards. Since then, the country’s participation in trade fairs has featured halal products such as halal coconuts at the SIAL Middle East showcase in Dubai.

Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging GoodNewsPilipinas.com on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or e-mailing editor@goodnewspilipinas.com

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Summer Sanares
Summer Sanares
Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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