The Commission on Audit (COA) celebrated its 118th year focusing on its role as an enabling partner for better government service. COA held activities highlighted by a recognition ceremony honoring the best audit performance as well as sports and other competitions from May 2-8, 2017 to mark its 118th anniversary.

“As auditors, we are not only ‘watchdogs’ guarding public resources but also ‘guardians,’ empowering and enabling government agencies to perform their mandates more efficiently and effectively,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

“We acknowledge that to give better public service, we need to partner with our various stakeholders for the conduct of our various programs and projects,” Chairperson Aguinaldo added.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia encouraged auditors to become better guides and to engage more with auditees for them to achieve growth. “Let us help our auditees discover their potentials and let us all grow together. Let us also continue our good standing among Supreme Audit Institutions and let us trail blaze to greater heights in international audit and accounting,” Commissioner Fabia said.

Commissioner Isabel D. Agito noted that COA has steadfastly adhered to its mandate for more than a century. “As the government’s enabling partner, our thrust is to ensure accountability for public resources, promote transparency, and help improve government operations with the end in view of ensuring a better life for all Filipinos,” Commissioner Agito said.

Meanwhile, the Commission honored audit teams and COA employees who have performed their duties with utmost excellence, courage and beyond expectations at the “COA Salutes the Best” program held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on 8 May 2017. It was a full harvest this year as the Commission found exemplary recipients in all categories. The Gawad Kahusayan was awarded to Audit Group M- Quezon City of the Local Government Sector and the National Government Sector 5A & 6A Audit Team No. R11-15 of the COA Regional Office No. XI. The Unliquidated cash advances of then Municipal Mayor of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao in CY 1994; Unliquidated Cash Advances from January 1998 to June 30, 2010 of then Municipal Treasurer of Tanudan, Kalinga; and the Audit on the cash and accounts of the Municipality of Amulung, Cagayan were deemed Outstanding Audit Reports.

In the individual categories, the Gawad Karangalan was conferred to Pedro C. Pascual, Administrative Aide III at the COA Regional Office No. II (for Level I), Humphry G. Torres, Information Technology Officer III at COA Regional Office No. XI and Christina E. Delos Santos, State Auditor IV at COA Regional Office No. XIII (for Level II), and Araceli P. Geli, State Auditor V at COA Regional Office No. XI (for Level III). State Auditor Romel C. Espiña of COA Regional Office No. XIII received the Gawad Kagitingan award while State Auditor Mary D. Bacwaden was awarded the Gawad Bilang Katangi-tanging Pinuno.

Former State Auditor Evelyn Louise E. Rivera of COA Regional Office No. VII was recognized as the Most Productive Retiree. Nine officials and employees from the Central Office and 23 from the Regional Offices were presented with the Loyalty award.

Revelries include sports, folk dance and choral competitions, a book fair and booths for government services.

The Commission traces its roots to the Office of the Insular Auditor of the Philippine Islands created through an unnumbered memorandum signed by then US President William McKinley on 8 May 1899. The institution has since evolved into a three-person collegial body with greater independence and scope as the Supreme Audit Institution of the Philippines under the 1987 Constitution.

The Commission is presently enacting reforms that will steer the institution into an organization that creates positive impact in government and society; empowers and enables government agencies to perform their mandates better; produces high quality, fair and timely audits; and increases stakeholder ownership and understanding. In order to accomplish these goals, the Commission will likewise strengthen its various capacities and capabilities and enhance its support infrastructure.

Congratulations COAns and happy 118th anniversary!