The Commission on Audit (COA) celebrated its 116th founding anniversary on May 8, 2015 focusing on honest and sincere public service as its answer to the challenges of the modern times.

The week-long celebration was highlighted by the COA Salutes the Best program honoring the most outstanding audit performance and exemplary COA employees held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on May 7, 2015.

“In my years of working in government, I have witnessed and experienced public service as a truly unique and always a challenging task. Our working environment is like the aquarium – transparent, with every outside looker scrutinizing our moves and thinking, having private expectations. This is always the challenge to us to be extraordinary,” observed COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

Referring to the honor awardees, Chairman Aguinaldo expressed the hope that their examples will inspire fellow COAns to achieve and be better at what they do. “Let us not ignore the reality that the making of a cathedral begins with the first and single cut of a stone. You and I, together, are the builders,” he added.

The Gawad Kahusayan for outstanding audit performance went to the Philippine Army Headquarters Audit Team who discovered anomalous registration of 567 military trucks involving an initial amount of more than 9 million pesos, and the registration of 484 motor vehicles in the name of private persons, military personnel and private entities at a cost amounting to P95.58 million.

The Gawad Kagitingan for “performance of a courageous and selfless act involving the risking of one’s life and safety for the common good and/or benefit of others which may be work related or related to public service’’ was awarded to Auditor Lourdes N. Algopera of COA Regional Office VII.

The Gawad Karangalan for “performance of extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior on the basis of observance of one or more of the eight norms of behavior under R.A. No. 6713” awardees were Auditors Shiela Marie N. Kitongan of the COA-Cordillera Administrative Region, Eufemia C. Jaugan of the National Government Sector (NGS) and Mayola P. Salita of the Corporate Government Sector (CGS).

Former State Auditor Lucia P. Sotelo, who is the national treasurer of the Philippine Maize Federation, Inc. which was created to help farmers and protect their interest, was awarded the Most Productive Retiree.

Receiving the loyalty milestone were Auditors Ramon C. Pentinio of CGS Cluster 2, Evelyn B. Mercado of NGS Cluster 1, Librada C. Pascual of CGS Cluster 5, Myrna D. Monzon of NGS Cluster 2 and Maria L. Adiong of the Fraud Audit Office. The loyalty milestone regional awardees were Domingo S. Vicente of Region I, Eveyln N. Valerio of Region III, Araceli A. Papa of Region IV-A, Arnaldo G. Gando of Region IV-A, Nena Marcela Demasu-ay of Region VII, Noe D. dela Pena of Region VII, Virginia A. Caraso of Region XII, Apolonia B. Jalon of Region XII, Othelia A. Aujero of Region XII, Repsima B. Macachor of Region XIII, Normallah N. Guro of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Nader M. Macagaan of ARMM. 

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COA Commissioner and Officer-in-Charge Heidi L. Mendoza (center) with (from left) Finance Officer Mr. Tomas A. Valerio of the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations, COA Director Michael L. Racelis, Director Visitacion Q. Mendoza, Ms. Jennifer Andrea S. Imperial of the Office of Commissioner Mendoza, Director Lito Q. Martin and Labor Attache Ma. Celeste M. Valderrama shortly after Commissioner Mendoza’s presentation of COA’s bid as ILO External Auditor on March 14, 2015.

Geneva, Switzerland- The International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, appointed the Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) as its External Auditor for a period of four years beginning on April 1, 2016.

 

The ILO’s Governing Body made the appointment following the unanimous recommendation of the Selection Panel during the ILO’s on-going 323rd Session being held in Geneva, Switzerland from March 12-27, 2015. The Philippines was selected over other shortlisted candidates, France and the United Kingdom.

 

 The Selection Panel, a tripartite body composed of Ghana, China, the United States of America and Greece representing Governments, South Africa and Japan representing the Employers group, and Belgium and Denmark representing the Workers group, considered the high level of professionalism and technical qualities as well as non-technical aspects such as diversity in audit base and approach to client relations.

 

“This appointment is an affirmation not only of COA’s audit expertise but also its integrity and independence. We assure the ILO of our promise to deliver quality external audit to the highest professional standards and to work together with the ILO in its pursuit of its mandate,” said COA Commissioner and Officer-in-Charge Heidi L. Mendoza.

 

Consul Arnel Talisayon, representing the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, for his part, appreciated “the objective, holistic, and systematic procedure of evaluating the proposal of each of the candidates which reflects on the high level integrity and professionalism of the ILO.”

 

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Commissioner Jose A. Fabia with Auditor General Masud Ahmed of Bangladesh during the 13th ASOSAI Assembly held at Hotel Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Jose A. Fabia led the Philippine delegation to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI) Assembly on February 8, 2015; followed by the 48th Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) Governing Board Meeting, the 13th ASOSAI Assembly and the 6th ASOSAI Symposium on February 9-13, 2015. These events were all held at the Hotel Royale Chulan, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

Commissioner Fabia was accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Luz Loreto- Tolentino of the Professional and Institutional Development Sector, Director Melanie A. Anonuevo of the Professional Development Office, Auditor Mary Joyce G. Eruma of COA Region IV-B and Mr. Edgardo Lamberto L. Ramos of the Public Information Office.

 

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The Commission on Audit (COA) has formed a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve financial audit by updating guidelines in accordance with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI).

To document this agreement, COA Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Jose A. Fabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ADB, represented by Ms. Agustina Musa, Senior Financial Management Specialist of the ADB South East Asia Regional Department, on February 27, 2015. The MOU is for the management of the project “Enhancing Roles of Supreme Audit Institutions in Selected Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Countries,” financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

The COA is the Project Leader for ISSAI Implementation under the Knowledge Sharing Committee, and the Chairperson of the Training Committee, both of the ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI). As ISSAI Implementation Project Leader, COA prepared an Action Plan for ASEANSAI in October 31, 2014 thru which development partners (DP) can determine which activity each DP can fund to avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources. The Action Plan was distributed to the DPs by the ASEANSAI Secretariat and was one of the materials presented by COA in the Donor Cooperation Meeting on February 7, 2015 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For its part, the ADB adopted a two-pronged strategy to support ISSAI Implementation. One is at the ASEANSAI level to benefit all member-SAIs and another, a bilateral approach that would involve four SAIs: the Commission on Audit of the Philippines, the Audit Board of Indonesia, the Office of the Auditor General of Myanmar, and the State Audit Organization of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

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COA Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan addresses COAns at her last flag ceremony as leader of the Commission on February 2, 2015.

February 2, 2015, QUEZON CITY, Philippines- Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan ends her term at the helm of the audit body making good on her promise for reforms in the Commission’s organizational structure, policies, systems and procedures that paved the way for a more efficient, effective and independent audit service.

 

Speaking to COAns at her last flag ceremony as their leader, Chairperson Pulido Tan said “We saw that if we work as a team, give the tasks our time and attention they require, and transcend our personal interests for the common and larger goals, we can overcome the impediments to efficiency, effectiveness and excellence.”

 

“I was only your Chairperson from 18 April 2011 to today, 2 February 2015. I was merely your caretaker and leader for that period. Kayo ang tunay na  Commission on Audit, you who have made COA your life career and calling, and have sworn to serve with utmost dedication and faithfulness. Let it therefore be also your pride and fulfillment. As such, make it so, its future is in your hands and minds and hearts,” Chairperson Pulido Tan emphasized.

 

Among the projects Chairperson Pulido Tan will be remembered for is the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) Project launched in 2012 which enabled citizen engagement with the Commission’s work. Within a year of its launch, the CPA won the “Bright Spot” award at the Open Government Summit held in London and has sparked the interest of the United Nations and other Supreme Audit Institutions as the only citizen audit of its kind.

 

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