By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Tourism has endorsed for plenary approval a bill seeking to declare the municipality of Ubay as the Farm Tourism Destination Capital of Bohol.
Under Committee Report 1156, the panel, chaired by Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon sought the final passage of House Bill 8979, which substituted House Bill 6502, principally authored by Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado.
House Bill 8979 provided that accredited farm tourism destinations in the municipality of Ubay may avail of the privileges and benefits provided under Republic Act 10816, otherwise known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.” Ubay is the first class municipality in Bohol.
Aumentado cited that farm tourism serves as the catalyst for the development of agriculture and fishery communities, and provide additional income for farmers, farmworkers, and fisherfolk.
“This bill seeks to boost farm tourism in the Philippines. It recognizes that tourism can propagate the value of agriculture in the economic and cultural development of the country,” he said.
House Bill 8979 tasks the Ubay municipality to coordinate with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the prioritization of infrastructure projects that will promote farm tourism in the municipality.
Aumentado said 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,” he said.
He also noted that 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 and is a showcase of Bohol’s advances in farm technology,” the lawmaker said.
Aumentado said Ubay is also home to Sinandigan Multi-Species Hatchery, which is the biggest multi-species hatchery in the country. The facility is producing fingerlings of various fisheries products such as milkfish, groupers, and sinagids.
Another attraction is the Ubay Green Park and Techno Center, an open dump that was converted into an ecological facility.
The park, which boasts of sprawling flowers and fruit gardens, was launched in 2013.