President Aquino inked Law on Farm Tourism

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Photo: Philippine Star

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III recently signed RA No. 10816 also known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016. The RA 10816 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3002 and House Bill No. 5299, which the Senate and House approved on February 2016.

The law defines farm tourism (also called agritourism or agrotourism) as ““the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes.” The said bill seeks to improve the income and economic viability of small farmers and rural communities, where poverty rates are highest.

Under the said bill, the Farm Tourism Development Board (which shall be attached to the Department of Tourism (DoT) shall be headed by the Tourism Secretary as Chairperson and the Agriculture Secretary as Vice Chair. While members of the Board are composed by the Trade Secretary, President of Educational Institution providing farm tourism programs, President of a National Farm Tourism Organization, President of national inbound tour operators association,  President of national federation of farmers cooperatives.

Related: 4th Farm Tourism Conference

The Farm Tourism Development Board shall formulate plans and programs for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the Philippines and shall set the overall direction in the implementation of the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan, which is integrated with the National Tourism Development Plan.

The Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan shall include: investment promotion and financing, market research, trends, innovations, and information, accreditation of farm tourism camps, institution and human resource development, infrastructure development.

Accreditation of farm tourism areas shall be on a voluntary basis and will be valid for two years. Said accreditation may be suspended or revoked should there be any violation of the set standards.

Among the law makers who supported the passing of this Bill are Congresswoman Sharon S. Garin of AAMBIS-OWA Partylist and Senator Cynthia Villar, Chair on Agriculture and Food.

Source: Manila Bulletin; Business World

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