Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with COA Regional Office No. XIII officials and employees during his first visit to the regional office on July 8, 2015.

Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo visited COA Regional Office No. XIII, Butuan City on July 8, 2015 to grace two significant events: the signing of the deed of donation for the 2,000 square meter lot donated by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and family for the construction of the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) in Surigao del Norte and the inauguration of the newly constructed PSAO building in Agusan del Sur.

COA CARAGA is the first regional office visited by the Honorable Chairperson after he got the nod from the Commission on Appointments. In her welcome remarks, OIC Regional Director Vivien G. Jumao-as said that “COA is blessed” for having received the “grace” in the person of former COA Chairperson Ma. Gracia M. Pulido Tan and now has the “gift” referring to present COA Chairperson Aguinaldo.

Chairperson Aguinaldo’s visit to COA-CARAGA was indeed a “gift” considering that it is a rare opportunity to be visited by the highest official of the Commission. COA CARAGA personnel returned the compliment by giving the Chairperson such a warm welcome. “Thank you for your support and prayers in my recent confirmation,” Chairperson Aguinaldo heartily said.

Chairperson Aguinaldo and Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas formally signed the deed of donation which was witnessed by COA regional officials and employees. The lot is located in Barangay Trinidad (formerly Luna), Surigao City. Afterwards, Chairperson Aguinaldo with COA RO XIII officials and some employees proceeded to the Government Center in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur to inaugurate and witness the blessing of the newly constructed PSAO.

COA Chairperson Aguinaldo and Director Vivien G. Jumao-as, during the ribbon cutting ceremony held at Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO), Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on July 8, 2015.

“COA is an independent body but at the same time we cannot erase the fact that there is inter-dependence among all government agencies whether executive, legislative, judiciary and constitutional bodies. Proof in fact, wala tayong building ngayon kung walang lupa,” Chairperson Aguinaldo observed.

The construction of PSAO-Agusan del Sur was initiated by former COA RO XIII Director Roland A. Rey through the efforts of former Chairperson Pulido Tan. The PSAO will serve as the new home of COA auditors in the field office as an effort to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Commission in the discharge of its constitutionally-mandated functions.

Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward G. Plaza, Vice Governor Santiago B. Cane, Jr., Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., and other local officials were also present in the inauguration.

The front view of the newly inaugurated Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) at Government Center, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur

The official visit of Chairperson Aguinaldo to COA Regional Office No. XIII marked a special place in the hearts of every COAn in CARAGA. He also promised to return within his seven-year stint as head of the Commission. - Robert D. Cordova