Participants at the inception and planning workshop for the Asian Development Bank Project on Enhancing Roles of Supreme Audit Institutions in Selected ASEAN Countries, March 2, 2016.

The Commission on Audit (COA) through the Project Management Office and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted an inception and planning workshop to incorporate the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) and improve quality of financial audit reports. The workshop was held at the COA Professional Development Center from March 2 to 4, 2016..

The workshop was part of the Regional-Capacity Development Technical Assistance (R-CDTA) conducted by the ADB under the Project on Enhancing Roles of Supreme Audit Institutions in Selected ASEAN Countries financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The State Audit Office of Vietnam, the Office of the Auditor General of the Union of Myanmar, and the State Audit Organization of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic also participated in this project.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo emphasized that “[T]he Commission on Audit is devoted to continuous training which is second nature to us. This workshop will help us take a deeper look at international standards and see how we can apply them in our own practice.”

 “Our development partners also asked us to do some audit work for their projects in the country. It is important that COA is on the same page with implementing agencies and that auditors and management understand where the ADB and our other development partners are coming from. Hopefully, we will be able to meet the requirements of our development partners,” he added.

The workshop aimed to guide implementing agencies in further improving the quality of project financial statements and deepening the understanding of the interlink between financial reporting and auditing.

The R-CDTA will yield three main outputs: (1) the assessment of COA existing guidelines; (2) a piloted and updated COA guidelines on ISSAIs financial audit; and (3) the dissemination of the COA guidelines on ISSAI financial audits to other ASEAN members.

The ADB acknowledged COA’s role as Project Leader for ISSAI Implementation under the Knowledge Sharing Committee, and the Chairperson of the Training Committee, both of the ASEANSAI.

Participants were given an overview on targets and progress of the R-CDTA, ADB investments in the Philippines and External Audit of ADB projects, among others. Participants were also asked for their input on COA’s roles in financial audit as well as discussed COA’s readiness to fully implement ISSAI. At the third day of the workshop, the group held focus group discussions to tackle issues including COA’s Action Plan in improving financial audit guidelines to be aligned with ISSAI. #




Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Isabel D. Agito with Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo and Director Flerida A. Jimenez cut the ribbon to open the exhibit on "Women Power" at the COA Main Building Lobby on February 29, 2016.

 

The Commission on Audit (COA) welcomed this year’s National Women’s Month Celebration with the opening of the exhibit on “Women Power” at the COA Main Building Lobby on February 29, 2016.

“I am proud working with the women in COA as they are among the brightest, bravest and the most professional people I have ever met in the government service,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

Chairperson Aguinaldo said that in behalf of the Commission Proper, they will extend their full support to the women of COA. “Pursuant to the job and if there is any need to seek protection from us, we will be here also to provide that,” the Chairperson added.

Commissioner Isabel D. Agito, on her part, observed that the Commission has somehow already achieved gender equality. She noted that there is one “Juana” in the Commission Proper, seven out of ten “Juanas” in the Assistant Commissioners Group and there are many lady directors in the Commission.

This year’s theme, “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda” is very timely according to Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, Chairperson of the COA Gender and Development (GAD) Technical Working Group. She said the theme calls for capacitating women and including their concerns in the government development agenda. Assistant Commissioner Castillo gave the opening remarks to formally launch the COA Women’s Month celebration after the flag raising ceremony led by members of the COA-GAD Focal Point System.

Activities for the month-long celebration include a seminar on the Revised COA-GAD Framework on March 3, a livelihood seminar sponsored by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority on March 4 and a “lunch for a cause” on March 30. COAns will also participate in the national celebration dubbed “Sama-samang Pagsulong sa mga Agenda ni Juana” at the Quirino Grandstand on March 16. #




Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Assistant Commissioner Luz Loreto-Tolentino lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the Professional Development Center Extension Building

 

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Professional Development Center (PDC) Extension Building on February 11, 2016. The PDC Extension Building will have six more classrooms dedicated to holding trainings and seminars.

In his message, Chairperson Aguinaldo said one of the many things he is proud of in COA is the institution’s dedication to continuous training. “The annex building is part of COA’s continuing commitment to provide more training and education for its personnel,” he said.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, for his part, said the PDC requires not only good courseware and good trainers but also the facilities to effectively train COA personnel. “Training is very important because it is a vital component for the COA to be able to perform its functions well. The construction of the annex building is a testament to COA’s aspiration for quality audit,” he observed.

Assistant Commissioner Luz Loreto-Tolentino of COA’s Professional and Institutional Development Sector thanked the COA leadership for their support. “The ritual we are about to do is but symbolic but from the depths of this earth that we are marking in a while, a new vision for learning, development and service to our people shall stand,” she remarked.

 

  

Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioner Fabia unveil the COA Region IV-B marker.

 

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Assistant Commissioners Divinia M. Alagon, Lourdes M. Castillo, Arcadio B. Cuenco, Jr., Alexander B. Juliano, Carmela S. Perez, and Manolo C. Sy and COA Directors.

Meanwhile, COA held the blessing of the renovated offices of COA Region IV-B on February 4, 2016.

Rev. Fr. Mario Bije led the celebration of the Holy Mass and presided over the blessing of the renovated offices. Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioner Fabia joined Assistant Commissioner Alagon, and Directors Sheila U. Villa of COA Region IV-B and Janet D. Nacion of COA Region IV-A in unveiling the COA Region IV-B marker. #

 

 




Newly appointed COA Commissioner Isabel B. Dasalla-Agito.

 

Quezon City, January 18, 2016- President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Certified Public Accountant and lawyer Isabel B. Dasalla-Agito as ad interim Commissioner of the Commission on Audit (COA) for a term expiring on February 2, 2018. Malacañang announced the appointment on Friday, January 15, 2016.

Speaking to COAns after her first flag ceremony as Commissioner, Commissioner Agito said she was happy because her colleagues in COA are also happy. She said she wanted to thank the Lord foremost because it is His will.

“I would also like to thank the Chairperson, Commissioner Fabia, the Assistant Commissioners’ Group, COA officials and everybody who supported and prayed for me. I hope I will be able to live up to everyone’s expectations,” she said. Commissioner Agito added that she sincerely thanks the President for his confidence and trust even though he did not know her.

Commissioner Agito takes over the post left by Heidi L. Mendoza who was appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services in October last year.

Commissioner Agito is a career official who has been with the COA for more than 39 years. She first joined the Commission as Auditing Examiner in August 1976. She was a member of COA’s UN audit pool having been assigned to audit the UN Headquarters in New York in 1989-1991 and in 2000. She audited various national government agencies and government corporations as well as being Project Coordinator for the COA-UNDP Participatory Audit project. She also supervised the Special Task Force on Flagship Projects. She was named Assistant Commissioner, the highest career rank in COA, in August 2008.

Commissioner Agito obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration- Accounting degree from the University of the East (UE) in 1972 and her Bachelor of Laws degree also from UE in 1993.

 

Commissioner Agito thanks COAns for their support and prayers after her first flag ceremony as COA Commissioner on January 18, 2016.




COA Chairperson addresses COAns during the Belen lighting ceremony on December 11, 2015.

 

The Commission on Audit (COA) family looks on the accomplishments of the year with gratitude as it celebrates the 2015 Christmas Season with the theme “COA Family in Thanksgiving.”

COA opened the celebration with the lighting of the Christmas tree and Belen ceremony led by COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo on December 11, 2015. This year’s giant Christmas tree was made from old tires and recycled materials.

A video presentation featuring the Christmas messages of Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Jose A. Fabia was played over the big screen.

“Christmas is celebrated as coming together of people,” said Chairperson Aguinaldo. The Chairperson observed that Christmas is more than just a religious celebration and is also a coming together of different cultures, noting that many of the traditions celebrated during Christmas came from various cultures which are not limited to a particular religion.

Commissioner Mendoza, for her part, said Christmas “is a pledge that light will overcome darkness.” Commissioner Mendoza encouraged everyone to do their jobs well so that they can be happy after their service in COA knowing that they did their best.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Fabia said that in the spirit of Christmas, COAns should look back at what they have accomplished and must always remember that “we are not only guardians of the public purse but also catalysts for excellent public service.”

The COA Christmas celebration includes a bingo game sponsored by the Philippine Government Audit Service Employees Association, a program for the kids of the COA Day Care Center, a lunch get-together and gift-giving with employees with Salary Grade 1-6 and job-order personnel, and a raffle draw sponsored by the Association of National Government Sector Auditors, Inc. # – Dennis Cariño