State Auditor Daisy O. Bercede (second from left) with fellow Dangal ng Bayan awardees poses with President Benigno S. Aquino III at the awards rite held in Malacañan Palace. (photo source: http://www.gov.ph/2015/11/09/outstanding-public-servants-recognized-malacanan/)

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized State Auditor Maria Daisy O. Bercede of the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. 7, Cebu City among the country’s outstanding public servants. The CSC conferred on her the Dangal ng Bayan Award for ethical public service. She was one of eight recipients of the award.

The Dangal ng Bayan Award is conferred to an individual for performing extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior on the basis of the employee’s observation of the eight norms of conduct provided under Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

COA nominated Auditor Bercede to the CSC honor awards after being named the Most Outstanding Woman of COA in 2014. She was recognized for leading the audit investigation of Talisay City College (TCC) uncovering unreceipted collection of at least P10 million. The investigation resulted in the recommendation by the TCC Board of Directors to remove the accountable official.

When she won as Outstanding COAn, Auditor Bercede said the award inspired her to continue doing well. “The award is only a bonus. It is my duty to perform my job to the best of my ability. I work hard not because I wish to win awards but because I enjoy what I do and believe that doing all I can is right,” she said.

Auditor Bercede joined Menia S. Alvidera of the Department of Education Division of Roxas City, Vivencio B. Claros of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Trixie M. Dagame of the Bureau of Fire Protection Regional Office No. 8, Roy A. Esteron of the National Food Authority Quirino Provincial Office, Juvy S. Gaton of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 6, Jo Anne D. Haber of the Office of the President, and Mario V. Navasero of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños in the roster of Dangal ng Bayan awardees.

Meanwhile, the President conferred the Presidential Lingkod ng Bayan Award to 11 individuals for exceptional or extraordinary contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest, security and patrimony. The CSC conferred the Pagasa Award to nine individuals and two groups for outstanding contribution resulting from an idea or performance which directly benefit more than one department of the government.

The awards rite for the 2015 Outstanding Public Officials and Employees was held on November 9, 2015 at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañan Palace.




President Benigno S. Aquino III meets with COA Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza and her staff at the Malacañan Palace on November 2, 2015. Commissioner Mendoza and her team paid a courtesy call to the President before the Commissioner flies to New York, United States of America to assume her new post as head of the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services. (picture sourced from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines)

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza, who was recently named Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), said that she will continue to pray for the Commission and asked COAns to continue serving with integrity.

“Patuloy po akong magdarasal para sa Commission at sana po ay patuloy tayong magdasal ng sama-sama. Nagawa po nating ipakita na mas masarap maglingkod nang mayroong dangal,” Commissioner Mendoza said after what may be her last attendance at a flag ceremony as COA Commissioner.

“I think more than four years and six months with you are more than enough to thank you for all of your support and assistance, especially for those who have toed the line when it was most difficult. Thank you very much for walking with us in a way that we know is the best for the Commission,” she said.

Commissioner Mendoza also expressed gratitude to former Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan and current Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Commissioner Rowena Guanzon as well as COA officials and her staff at the Office of the Commissioner.

She asked COAns to continue to treat each other as family and to support each other. “As an office let us be proud of what each one of us has and continuously work and pray together for the Commission and the country,” she added.

Commissioner Mendoza is expected to begin her term as head of the UN OIOS on November 15, 2015. The UN General Assembly unanimously approved on October 13, 2015 the appointment made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who had earlier announced his intention to appoint Commissioner Mendoza as the new Under Secretary General for Internal Oversight Services for a five-year non-renewable term. The OIOS is the internal oversight body of the UN that provides audit, investigation, inspection and evaluation services.




Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo addresses COA officials during the second day of the Strategic Performance Management System workshop.

The Commission on Audit (COA) held a briefing and workshop on the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS), a new performance review system that seeks to link individual performance with organizational goals.

Around 190 COA officials and personnel participated in the workshop held in the SAADO Auditorium from September 9 to 11, 2015.

The COA SPMS is developed to comply with the civil service requirement directing all agencies to establish a new Performance Evaluation and Appraisal System that reflects how employee performance has contributed or hindered organizational effectiveness.

Aside from increasing awareness on the SPMS, the workshop also aimed to foster discussions on the steps and procedures to be undertaken during the various stages of SPMS cycle and prepare focal persons in cascading the SPMS in their respective regions/offices.

Chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo pushed for a system that will encourage each individual employee to meet his or her own targets instead of promoting unhealthy competition against fellow office workers.

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Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo shakes hands with Northern Samar Governor Jose L. Ong after the signing of a deed of donation for a parcel of land in Barangay Dalakit, Catarman which is the proposed site for a Provincial Satellite Audit Office..

 

 

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo lauded personnel of COA Regional Office No. VIII for having one hundred percent accomplishment rate in Annual Audit Reports for 2014 despite constraints in physical and other support facilities resulting from destruction by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The original regional office had six buildings but after Typhoon Yolanda struck the province, only two remained and only one has been refurbished. COA auditors there hold office in what used to be their canteen.

“Despite all the challenges, despite the fact that you have to work in a single building, despite the fact that some of you are working without computers or laptops because they were part of those that were damaged, you were still able to come out with your reports on time,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

“If people in that area who have suffered a lot were still able to do their jobs, then it tells that there is no reason for others not to be able to do their jobs as well,” he added.

Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza, and Jose A. Fabia recently visited COA Regional Office VIII, Candahug, Palo, Leyte to hold a Commission Proper (CP) meeting and dialogue with regional personnel.

Speaking for the first time to office personnel in Leyte, Chairperson Aguinaldo affectionately addressed everyone as “kapamilya” and “kapuso” and updated them on the strategic plan for the next seven years. Chairperson Aguinaldo said he expects auditors not only to recommend measures on the efficient use of public funds but also to educate agency personnel on the correct use of public funds.

Commissioner Mendoza encouraged auditors to look forward to the good things happening in COA instead of focusing on the negative aspect like lack of manpower. She advised auditors “na ingatan at iwasto ang paggamit ng kapangyarihan.” She likewise spoke about the sincerity of the new Chairman and went further by saying, “mabait si Chairman, dapat mas mabait kayo.”

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Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza assured the public that no current member of the Commission Proper (CP) was involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

“I can with confidence say that whoever that Commissioner who Atty. Baligod claims to be included in the PDAF scam, he is no longer with the current member of the Commissioner Proper,” Commissioner Mendoza said.

Commissioner Mendoza pointed out that the current members of the CP were recently appointed and could not have been involved in the pork barrel scam from the period 2007-2009. Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was appointed in March 2015, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia in May 2014 and she herself in April 2011.

In response to earlier allegations that four auditors were involved in the PDAF scam, Commissioner Mendoza said the COA is open to any investigation against its auditors but the proper information and evidence should be shown owing to the sensitive nature of COA’s work and in fairness to the other 8, 237 employees of the Commission..

“Gusto po natin ibigay ng assurance ang publiko na patuloy na makakaasa sa buong tapat at buong pusong paglilingkod ng buong COA, Commissioner Mendoza emphasized.

COA is currently undergoing fact-finding investigation against 70 or more auditors on the PDAF while three administrative cases have already been filed.