Farm tourism, halal dev’t bills signed into law
President Aquino has signed the Farm Tourism Development Act (Republic Act 10816) and the Halal Export Development and Promotional Act (RA 10817) to boost the development of food products and agri-tourism in the Philippines.
The Farm Tourism Development Act seeks to raise the income of small farmers and rural communities by attracting more tourists.
It also aims to promote environment-friendly and sustainable farm practices and provide alternative recreation facilities.
The new law creates a Farm Tourism Development Board, headed by the tourism secretary, that would formulate and implement the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan.
The Board shall also oversee the conduct of farm tourism research and development projects.
The Halal Export Development and Promotional Act creates the Halal Export Development and Promotional Board, led by the trade secretary, that would oversee the Philippine halal development and promotion programs.
The Board can receive donations, grants, endowments and contributions from local and foreign sources to help promote and develop the Philippine halal industry.
It also has a say in the accreditation of halal-certification and testing bodies.
The law also requires the Department of Agriculture to upgrade facilities like slaughterhouses, warehouses, refrigeration and laboratory facilities to ensure the quality of halal products.