Amid the controversial killing of former Laoag City Vice Mayor Jimmy O. Chua earlier this year, Laoag City was still able to prove it could maintain its peace and order situation after it was chosen as a semifinalist in the national search for the Best City Peace and Order Council in the Philippine for CY 2004.
The city earlier topped the regional best peace and order council, edging Urdaneta City by only 0.05 points.
According to Dr. Reynaldo Garo, city Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) director, said Laoag will represent Region I for the 2004 Best City POC search.
Laoag City was also in chosen among top three finalists for the same search for CY 2003, joining the cities of Oroquieta and Naga. Results for this search however had not been made public as of presstime.
The annual best POC search aims to strengthen the POCs at various levels and ensure a more enhanced involvement, mutual assistance and coordination among all sectors of the community in the attainment of peace, law and order, public safety, and security in the country.
Among the criteria for the said search include quality in the integrated area/community public safety plan (15 points), efficiency and effectiveness of POC organization (25 points) and outcome of plan implementation (60 points).
Garo added that Laoag garnered the highest points in all the categories compared to other cities in the region.
Meanwhile, Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas thanked all the offices involved in the said competition for once again putting the city in the national limelight.
Fariñas also extended his gratitude to all non-government agencies which helped in the maintenance of peace and order in the city.
The National Selection and Awards Committee (NSAC) would start to evaluate the national finalists on August 15 to September 15 while validation for the on-the-spot inspection is set from September 16 to November 30. Awarding ceremonies is scheduled in December 2005.
Laoag City took first place in the Best POC search under the component city category for CY 2001 with then Mayor Roger C. Fariñas at the helm.
Dominic B. dela Cruz