Bohol as Farm Tourism Capital

Bill declaring a farm tourism destination capital of Bohol approved on second reading 01 May 2019 10:44:55 AM

The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 8979, seeking to declaring the Municipality of Ubay in Bohol as Farm Tourism Destination Capital of Bohol province. Authored by Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol), the bill mandates accredited farm destinations in the Municipality of Ubay to avail of privileges and benefits provided under Republic Act No. 10816, otherwise known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.” “This bill, which seeks to boost farm tourism in the Philippines, recognizes that tourism can propagate the value of agriculture in the economic and cultural development of the country. Farm tourism also serves as the catalyst for the development of agriculture and fishery communities, provide additional income for farmers, farmworkers and fisherfolk,” said Aumentado. The bill mandates the municipal government of Ubay to coordinate with the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture in the prioritization of infrastructure projects that will promote farm tourism in the municipality based on the provisions of the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.” Aumentado said Ubay is a first-class municipality of Bohol. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 73,712, making Ubay the most populated municipality in the entire province of Bohol. “It has a tropical climate and most months of the year are marked by significant precipitation, making agriculture favorable – it supports at least two rice crops per year,” said Aumentado. He further said that Ubay’s point of interest, destinations and attractions include the Ubay Stock Farm which is the largest and oldest government livestock facility in the Philippines. The place was chosen by the Department of Agriculture as one of the accredited livestock technology training facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao. Meanwhile, the Ubay Agri-Park, the first of its kind in the Visayas, was launched to boost the agriculture and tourism industries in the area. The park helps promote farm tourism or agri-tourism and is a showcase of Bohol’s advances in farm technology, said Aumentado. Ubay is also home to Sinandigan Multi-Species Hatchery which is the biggest multi-species hatchery in the Philippines. “It is a fishery infrastructure and mariculture park established to enable the fish farmers to become totally independent from wild stock to promote a more stable food security for the province,” he said. Aumentado said the Sinandigan Multi-Species Hatchery produces fingerlings of various fisheries products such as milkfish (bangus), groupers (lapulapu) and siganids (kitong, danggit). It also houses a seaweed tissue culture laboratory which aims to rehabilitate quality seagrass planting materials using tissue branch culture, spore shredding and callus cell culture. Another attraction in Ubay is the Ubay Green Park Techno Center, which was formerly an open dumpsite converted into an ecological facility. The park, which boasts of sprawling flowers and fruit gardens was launched in 2013. Under Republic Act No. 10816, otherwise known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016,” farm tourism, also referred to as agri-tourism, is the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes. It involves any agricultural – or fishing – based operation or activity that brings to a farm visitors, tourists, farmers and fisherfolk who want to be educated and trained on farming and its related activities, and provides a venue for outdoor recreation and accessible family outings. /Joselito Menorca, News and Documentation Section – Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ House of Representatives of the Philippines