Good news for farmers and fisherfolk with the signing into law of the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, which would give them extra income, said returning Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
“Aside from appropriate attention and support for the agriculture sector in our country, the Farm Tourism Development Act will give additional income to our farmers and fisherfolk,” said the former Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.
Farm tourism is used to attract visitors and tourists to farms, and learn where the food they eat come from. Visitors may go for educational or recreational purposes.
“Republic Act 10816 aims to draft a comprehensive program to support farm tourism in the country. The law also aims to give access to loans for farm tourism operators and practitioners so that there would be more farm tourism camps and activities in the Philippines and develop the country’s agri-tourism,” Pangilinan said.
Under the new law, a Farm Tourism Development Board shall be composed of the Tourism Secretary as the chairperson; Agriculture Secretary as the vice chairperson while members include the Trade Secretary; the president of an educational institution providing farm tourism programs; the president of a national farm tourism organization; the president of a national inbound tour operations association and the president of a national federation of farmers cooperatives.
The Farm Tourism Development Board shall formulate plans and programs for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the country and shall set the overall direction for the implementation of the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan.
The action plan shall include investment promotion and financing, market research, trends, innovations, and information; accreditation of farm tourism camps, institution and human resource development, and infrastructure development.
Accreditation of farm tourism camps shall be on a voluntary basis and shall be valid for two years. However, accreditation may be suspended or revoked for any violation of the standards.
The agriculture sector lobbied for this measure, which President Benigno Aquino III signed into law on May 16 this year.