Quezon City, Philippines- After three years and nine months, Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan is set to retire from her post as the Commission’s Chairperson on February 2.
Chairperson Pulido Tan told reporters who attended the launch of the second phase of the Citizen Participatory Audit project on January 22, 2015 that she would use her break from government service to relax.
“No plans, I just want to relax, do all the things I missed doing while I was in the Commission, maglilinis ako ng bahay, mag-aalaga ako ng apo at magga-garden uli,” the Chairperson said.
When asked if she received any offers for a different government post, the Chairperson was mum, saying she is not inclined to take another government position at this time but she hinted that she was not closing her doors either.
“I’m not inclined to take a position at this time. It’s like when I came to COA, wala naman talaga akong balak, wala akong ambisyon. But things happen. I prayed about it and I came to the conclusion that this is probably what God wants me to do. I will be obedient. I leave it all up to God,” she said.
Chairperson Pulido Tan said working with COAns was the biggest fulfilment of her career in COA.
“It is my greatest fulfilment to lead this 9,000-strong organization. It was ground-breaking work. I did my best with the time I was given and it was enough. No regrets,” Chairperson Pulido Tan said.
Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan holds a plaque of appreciation with a figure of a jeepney during the launch of the second phase of the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) program on January 22, 2015. The jeepney represents what the CPA project is about— bringing people together from different fields of expertise to take part in the audit work towards a common destination: good governance.
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Building on the gains from the first phase of the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA), the Commission on Audit (COA) launched Phase 2 of the program on Thursday, January 22, 2015, at the COA compound.
The CPA is a partnership between the COA and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, with funding from Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Founded on the principles of constructive engagement and social accountability, the CPA brings together the COA on one hand and citizen groups/civil society organizations on the other in conducting audits of select government projects deemed “close to the hearts of the people.”
“We’ve made considerable gains in the first phase and now we are scaling up in terms of coverage. We are going out of Metro Manila and taking CPA to other places,” said COA Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido Tan.
Commission on Audit officials and Palawan civil society organizations engage in a dialogue. (photo courtesy of Sylvia Inciong of the Public Financial Management Program)
PUERTO PRINCESA - Some 80 participants from the Commission on Audit (COA) and various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Palawan recently gathered in Puerto Princesa for a capacity building and audit planning workshop for a new Farm-to-Market-Roads (FMRs) citizen participatory audit (CPA).
The Palawan component is part of a nationwide performance audit that COA is implementing in cooperation with citizens and CSOs across the country. CSO partners are expected to help collect data on some of the remote FMR projects. The activity is coordinated by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP) in cooperation with COA. It is sponsored by the Philippines- Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP) as part of its support to the second phase of COA’s CPA Program. The audit aims to determine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Farm-to-Market-Road Development Program (FMRDP).
Quezon City, Philippines- The Commission on Audit (COA), together with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND) and the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) signed the Joint Circular on Guidelines on the Entitlement, Release, Use, Reporting and Audit of the Confidential and/or Intelligence Fund on January 8, 2015.
COA, DBM, DILG, DND and GCG worked together to formulate the guidelines in order to provide a more accountable and transparent use of Confidential and Intelligence Funds (CIF). The Joint Circular not only provides for strong internal controls in the release and utilization of the CIF but also stricter accounting and auditing rules to prevent mishandling or improper application of the CIF.
“From a Constitutional perspective, the COA is given the mandate to define the scope of its audit, and this includes confidential funds. These guidelines could be a positive tool for governance and is the actualization of the Commission’s policy to engage all its stakeholders,” COA Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan said.
DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad observed that “the Joint Circular comes at a time when our people are demanding greater public accountability in the use of funds and ensure that activities funded by the CIF are legitimate ones. By reforming the use of the CIF, we are helping the President fulfill his agenda of good governance to achieve sustained development, including just and lasting peace and the rule of law.”
GCG Chairman Cesar L. Villanueva, for his part, said “with the signing of the Joint Circular, we are sending a strong message to the public that we are one with the call for greater responsibility, transparency and accountability.”
DILG Undersecretary Edwin Enrile and DND Undersecretary Honorio Azcueta, representing their agencies, also gave their commitment to the guidelines. COA Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Jose A. Fabia and other key officials of the stakeholder agencies witnessed the signing.
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan said working with COAns in spite of the difficulties and bringing about changes in governance was the biggest fulfillment of her career in the Commission.
Speaking before the COA family during the lighting of the Christmas tree to start the COA Christmas season on December 4, 2014, Chairperson Pulido Tan said “The biggest fulfillment of my having been with you in the COA is the thought that at some point in my life and yours, we came together, to work together though all the hardships and constraints and to have been able to see very palpable changes in government, the civil service and politics.”
Chairperson Pulido Tan reminded COAns that more needs to be done to consolidate the gains and institutionalize the reforms she begun and expressed hope that COA will overcome whatever difficulties and hurdles in the long journey towards the destination.
“If the three years and nine months are any gauge, then we can rest assured that, kung sa maganda ang tatahakin nating landas, nothing will derail us if we put our complete trust in God and in ourselves,” the Chairperson said.
Chairperson Pulido Tan added that she is not looking for any legacy since the time she spent with COAns are enough for her and that she will leave with a glad heart knowing that Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Jose A. Fabia will cooperate and work together towards the achievement of COA’s Vision and Mission.
The COA Christmas celebration includes a program for the kids of the COA Day Care Center and children of employees with Salary Grade 1-6 and job-order personnel; a lunch get-together and gift-giving with employees with Salary Grade 1-6 and job-order personnel; and a cultural program.