Senator Cynthia Villar led the launching of the directory summarizing tourist farms and farm schools in the Philippines in simple ceremonies at the Senate.
Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said the “Directory of Farm Schools, Tourist Farms and Learning Sites in the Philippines,” will serve as a reference guide for farm enthusiasts, interested trainees and tourists.
“It is our hope that the directory will be useful in spreading the word about the joys of farming and its potential to lift people out of poverty,” the legislator said.
She noted that Republic Act 10816 or the the Farm Tourism Development Act, which she principally authored, paved the way for an increasing number of farmers, farm owners and farming communities to enjoy the benefits of converting their farms into tourist destinations.
“I continue to urge many to follow suit as it will allow them to double and diversify their income source. Increasing the number of venues for agriculture-related training will also help remove the barriers that prevent Filipino farmers and fisherfolks to have more income and be more competitive, which are lack of technology, mechanization, financial literacy, and inability to access cheap credit,” the lawmaker said.
The directory features farm tourism destinations and learning sites all over the Philippines, including the two farm schools built by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) in Las Pinas City-Bacoor, Cavite and in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
It also includes a list of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)- accredited courses on agriculture, which farm schools can teach and students and farmers can avail of for free in accredited learning sites nearby.
The directory is a project of Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governace (Villar SIPAG) in partnership with TESDA, Department of Agriculture (DA), Agricultural Training Institute, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Department of Tourism.