‘National corn quality’ top award goes to Laoag-LGU

LAOAG CITY, Sept 16 – This multi-awarded city’s local government unit is a recipient anew of another prestigious citation– the “national corn quality award” by the Department of Agriculture’s 2012 nationwide search.

City agriculture corn coordinator Elmer Santiago said the national search was launched in 2012 to encourage local government units (LGUs) to produce high grade quality corn for export.

During the evaluation, the DA’s search team said it found out that the corn crops produced in Laoag was declared “zero” in aflatoxin or negative from any toxic substance with high grade quality.

“Another great factor for the city to win the award was the all-out support of the Laoag City government headed by then Mayor now Vice Mayor Michael Farinas in the local corn production program,” Santiago said.

Laoag was adjudged as one of top six cities and municipalities from the 24 countrywide entries which were evaluated by DA’s first national search for corn quality award.

Santiago said that Laoag will receive P500,000-worth of projects and a plaque during the forthcoming awarding ceremony to be held on October 23 in Tagaytay City.

Santiago, as corn coordinator of the winning LGU, will also receive a P15,000 cash prize and a plaque.

City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas and Santiago are expected to personally attend the ceremony to receive their respective awards.

She said the city government will continue to provide all-out support to the city’s corn production program in order to maintain the award and further increase the farmers’ income.

Santiago said at least 1,557 hectares in 48 villages of Laoag are planted to corn by some 1,800 city farmers.

He added that the city’s corn production efficiency had an average of six tons per hectare.

“We hope to win the award for three consecutive years to get the grand slam. At the same time, our city will become a consistent producer of high grade and export quality corn,” he concluded.

The DA’s annual search aims to make the country a full time exporter of high grade quality corn in the next three years. (FREDDIE G. LAZARO)