SALEHA P. SACAR
Director IV, BMEA
Contact No.:
Email Address: spsacar@ncmf.gov.ph

The Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs (BMEA) is responsible in promoting and developing economic livelihood programs and projects through the extension of loans, entrepreneurship, trade and marketing assistance to the members of Muslim Filipino communities.

It shall also be responsible for the promotion and development of cooperative endeavors among Muslim Filipinos in coordination with the Cooperative Development Authority.

It shall likewise promote and implement manpower training and community self-help projects for the economic development of Muslim Filipinos.

Promotion of Islamic Finance and Investments among Muslim Filipinos.
Promote and develop the Philippine Halal Industry and accredit halal-certifying entities/bodies for the utmost benefit of Muslim Filipinos and in partnership or cooperation with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions here and abroad.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Bureau is composed of the following divisions to manage its operations, namely:

  1. Small Business and Trade Development Division;
  2. Cooperative Development Division
  3. Manpower Skills Development Division

BMEA OPERATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES:

A. MUSLIM FILIPINO TRADERS AND ENTREPRENEURS PROGRAMS

  • Entrepreneurship Training

This training is designed to equip Muslim entrepreneurs the tools to enhance their knowledge and increase their income. In coordination with TESDA, DTI and DOST, Regional offices shall conduct a survey among their respective traders/entrepreneurs and decide which kind of training is suited to their clientele. After the survey has been conducted, the regional offices may propose the projects to the Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs for funding if the regional offices do not have the required funding.

The Chief of Small Business and Trade Development Division may assign from among his/her staff the proposal for evaluation and recommend the same to the Bureau Director for endorsement to the Office of the Secretary for approval. Upon approval, the FMS shall cause sub-allotment of the amount to the concerned regional office for implementation. The Bureau may assist the implementing regional office by sending at least one representative to assist, supervise and monitor the implementation.

The Bureau may initiate on its own training proposals for implementation by regional offices with proper coordination and that funds shall be sub-allotted to regional offices.

B. MUSLIM FILIPINO COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS

Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs and Regional Office shall always promote organization of cooperatives among Muslim communities as a way to alleviate their poverty and improve their living conditions. Regional offices are responsible to survey Muslim cooperatives of their respective regions and coordinate with them what are the profitable products in their area of coverage. Our clientele must be informed of the current trend in the market through dialogues or meetings so as not to keep them groping in the dark. In the same way, regional offices have to survey the locations of the Muslim communities where the best option is for them is to organize themselves into cooperatives rather than individual entrepreneurs.

In case of organization of Muslim cooperative, BMEA or the NCMF regional offices are advised to coordinate with Cooperative Development Authority for the following training programs:

  1. Orientation Seminars
  2. Managerial Skill’s Training
  3. Financial System Training

Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs and NCMF regional offices shall see to it that Islamic Micro Finance module are included in the training as a core fundamental value of the Muslim cooperatives.

  • Livelihood Training
  • In case of livelihood training, regional offices shall coordinate with TESDA and DOST for the kind of Livelihood Training they are offering. A dialogue with target beneficiaries is encouraged to appraise the type of needed livelihood training that should be conducted to avoid wastage of time, efforts and money.

    This training is designed to provide cooperators the needed know-how to enhance their livelihood skills in coordination with CDA, TESDA and DOST.

    Regional offices may submit livelihood training proposals for funding by the Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs if they have no resources to pursue the project. Upon proper coordination, BMEA also may propose to implement livelihood training for implementation in the regional offices.

  • Manuals or Handbooks
  1. Cooperative Governance – the Bureau shall formulate cooperative governance for Muslims cooperatives taking into considerations the reasons for failures and the right directions to be followed in organizing a cooperative. The governance shall be a guide for cooperators in recruiting members, officials and staff, and for election of members of the Board including system of management and financial operations of the cooperative.
  2. This governance shall include Islamic cores and values which will become its guiding principles in its day-to-day operations in compliance Shari’ah Law.

  3. Best Practices – BMEA shall also compile stories of best practices of successful Muslim and non-Muslim cooperatives as a source of inspiration and emulation for our clientele. This will answer the question why the rate of success versus failure is higher for Non-Muslim cooperatives. This shall be updated every two years and shall form part of orientation seminar for Muslim cooperatives.

C. PROMOTION OF ISLAMIC FINANCE AND INVESTMENTS

  • CONDUCT OF FORA

Conduct of Fora, Conferences, Symposia, Meetings, Seminars and Summits advocating promotion of Islamic Finance and Investments in the country in coordination with concerned government and private institutions locally and abroad including economic missions to members of Organization of Islamic Conference.

  • FACILITATION OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ISLAMIC MICRO FINANCE
  1. Trainer’s Training should be conducted by the BMEA at least once a year and that participants in the previous training are not allowed to participate to give way to others who are not yet trained. At least two representatives from each region shall be invited to be trained and thereafter shall re-echo the same to their respective regional offices. The regional offices may also conduct such Micro-Finance seminars in every Muslim community under their coverage to apprise them of the Islamic Micro-Finance models appropriate to them.

  2. A regional conference of Micro-Entrepreneurs shall be conducted by all regional offices at least twice a year as a way to organize Islamic Micro Finance and assess and evaluate the current problems, issues and concerns affecting the program. Micro-Financers and Borrowers and other concerned stakeholders should be invited to these conferences.

  3. In support to promote and sustain Islamic Micro Financing among Muslim Filipinos, BMEA shall conduct in coordination with Islamic Micro Finance Groups, annual summit of Key Stakeholders of Islamic Micro-Finance such as Ulama, Muslim Filipino Accountants, Academe and Borrowers that would enjoin them to declare their statement of support to the program. In this way, they are all responsible to make the whole project afloat and avoid unnecessary system failure. If possible, representatives from the International Islamic Micro Finance companies should be invited to share their best practices and system of management.

  4. BMEA shall create a database and profiles of internationally recognized Islamic Micro Finance companies as reference in linking to them locally organized Micro Finance for technical and financial support. If possible, a Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between them and NCMF for a better forging of stronger relationship with them.

D. MUSLIM FILIPINOS MANPOWER SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

  • Skills Development Training

This program is designed to give our clientele especially out of school youths and unschooled adults the necessary alternative skills to keep them out of poverty as a way to pursue a long range objective of reducing if not eradicate opportunity of recruiting them by criminal groups thereby contributing to the achievement of stable peace and order in ARMM and outside especially where there are Muslim communities.

The Bureau and regional offices should coordinate with TESDA, if possible sign a Memorandum of Agreement for the benefit of the program and its prospective clientele. There are non-degree courses offered by TESDA that could be provided to our clients which will make them self-sufficient for employment here and abroad.

The Bureau shall prepare a TRAINING MODULES in coordination with TESDA for dissemination to regional offices as their references. BMEA in coordination with regional offices shall formulate CRITERIA to be followed in accepting participants.

Regional offices are required to submit to Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs proposals stating the suitable kind of non-degree courses training from TESDA needed by their respective clientele in their respective areas of coverage. If approved for implementation, funding requirement shall be downloaded to the regional offices with BMEA supervising and monitoring the project.

  • Employment Opportunities Assistance

BMEA will coordinate with POEA and Muslim embassies for possible placement abroad of Skills Training Graduates. Graduates of the programs are given the choice of self-employment with technical assistance from the office, if possible financial assistance from our regional offices.

Database of graduates from the program shall be created by BMEA and in the regional offices.

E. HALAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

  • Converge Public and Private sector efforts in developing a credible Philippine Halal Industry towards a wider access to Halal products and services


    • Assistance to Halal Certification Bodies (HCB)

      Assist Philippine Halal Certifying Bodies in their recognition by foreign countries, like Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, and other Halal concern countries, so that the products of the companies or manufacturers it certified will be allowed to enter and be sold in these countries.


    • Capability Building Program for NCMF Halal Staff

      To strengthen the capability of NCMF Halal manpower in delivering Halal concern services, locally and internationally, they must be equipped with proper knowledge and/or skills in promoting and developing the Halal industry, locally and internationally through training.



    • Capability Building for Halal Livestock Slaughterers

      Proper slaughtering of Halal ruminants and fowls will only be considered as Halal if properly slaughtered in accordance with Islamic principles, hence, training for slaughterers is necessary to make them perform proper slaughtering rituals and Islamic practice.


    • Assistance to Promotion and Marketing of Halal Certified Products

      NCMF as government lead agency in regulating and promoting the Halal industry of the Philippines, in coordination with other government agencies and other institutions, will assist manufacturers and producers of Halal products in the promotion and marketing of Halal foods and products here and abroad. In case the products are Muslim produced goods, the Commission shall take a lead role in marketing them to Muslim countries in cooperation with other concerned agencies of government.


    • Formulation of Halal Standards

      Declaration of food and non-food products as Halal must be based on full compliance with Shari’ah Law, principles, and standards as proven through scientific method. In the Philippines, existing Halal standards were formulated by the Department of Agriculture for foods, animals, fowls, and feeds; and the Department of Trade and Industry for non-foods products.  The NCMF, as government lead agency on Halal, must harmonize all these standards and formulate a National Halal Standard in consonance with International Halal Standards.


  • Institutionalize a community-based Halal awareness, education, and livelihood program involving targeting stakeholders.

    • Community-Based Halal Awareness Program

      To reinforce the absence of disciplinary power of NCMF on Halal under Republic Act 9997, the Halal consumers in the community level must also be educated on the Halal programs of the government.  In connection with this, the NCMF Central, Regional, and Provincial Offices will sponsor/conduct Community-Based Awareness Program.


    • Establish Database or Directory of Halal-availed companies, Establishments, Hotels, Restaurants and Halal Certified Product

      Establish a database of Halal companies and manufacturers (with Halal products), establishments, Hotels, Restaurants, and Halal products for ready reference and record purposes.