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.”
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.
The Philippine Government Audit Service Employees Association (PhilGASEA), the Commission on Audit’s employees association, held its national election last August 12, 2015. The COA Alliance for Reform and Empowerment (CARE) party won almost all the National Executive Council positions and eight seats in the Board of Directors (BOD).
CARE standard bearer Atty. Haide T. Espuelas of the Fraud Audit Office (FAO) won over Mario L. Ortega and Alejandro P. Gementera, both from the Administration Sector. Meanwhile, Technical Services Office’s (TSO) Engineer Laurence T. Tato topped the BOD.
Here is the complete list of winners: President – Haide T. Espuelas, FAO; Vice President – Edgardo Lamberto L. Ramos, Jr., Office of the Chairperson; Secretary – Maria Careen R. Recio, Public Information Office; Treasurer – Jocelyn S. Nokom, FAO; Auditor – George S. Tamayo, Jr., FAO; PRO – Sharon C. Contarciego, Professional and Institutional Development Sector.
The new BOD is composed of Engr. Laurence T. Tato, TSO; Ms. Mary Grace G. Serenio, Local Government Sector; Ms. Jazmin C. Macabangon, Human Resource Management Office; Atty. Richard M. Fulleros, Legal Services Sector (LSS); Atty. Reynaldo C. Darang, Corporate Government Sector (CGS); Atty. Fabian K. Delos Santos, CGS; Atty. Jeremy H. Gariando, LSS; Dr. Karlo A. Cayetano, Medical and Dental Services Office; Atty. Rochelle C. Lancanan, FAO; Ms. Rachel M. Abendanio, General Services Office.
The new officers and board of directors of the Philippine Government Audit Service Employees Association (PhilGASEA) with members of the Committee on Elections shortly after the official results have been released.
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.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with some of COA’s new employees during the orientation seminar held at the Professional Development Center Auditorium on July 1, 2015.
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo advised new COA employees to give their best in their work during the orientation seminar conducted by the Professional and Institutional Development Sector from July 1-3, 2015.
“Keep in mind that what you do will be reflective of COA as well, so do your work properly to the best that you can. We have a good reputation now, let us not spoil it. Instead, bring it to a higher level,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.
In his first appearance in an orientation class, Chairperson Aguinaldo told new recruits to take the opportunity to learn from those who have been in COA longer because they have the wealth of experience. At the same time, Chairperson Aguinaldo encouraged new COAns to keep their minds open for things that could be done better and to not be afraid to question processes that could be improved.
Chairperson Aguinaldo also emphasized the role of COA as enablers and partners of government agencies so they can perform their mandate more efficiently and effectively. To do this, COA must have a clearer and more uniform interpretation of audit rules and regulations and to educate public officials, especially in the barangays, on COA rules.
Around 160 new state auditors, state auditing examiners, special investigators, training specialists and administrative staff participated in the orientation seminar which aims to give newly hired COA personnel a better understanding of the Commission’s mandate, organizational structure, and administrative policies. The seminar’s goals also include instilling COA Core Values and professional ethics as well as improving personal effectiveness.