COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was guest speaker during the induction ceremony for the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers 2020 National Officers and Directors held on 18 January 2020 at Seda Vertis North Hotel in Quezon City.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and AMA University Chairman Dr. Amable R. Aguiluz V sign a Memorandum of Agreement for the provision of scholarship programs to employees of the Commission on 20 January 2020.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc with COA Officials during the Strategic Planning held at the Professional Development Center on 11 February 2020.
Former Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, Director Fortunata M. Rubico and Director Jonathan B. Beltran join resource persons from the Climate Change Commission during the Gender and Climate Change Orientation for the Commission on Audit on 3 to 4 March 2020.
Dr. Reynaldo O. Samson, from the Philippine National Police, discusses National Security, Local Security and Company Physical Security during the Symposium on Public Safety and Personal Security on 2 March 2020 at PIDS Auditorium.
Participants of the Advance Performance Audit Course held at the Professional Development Center on 10 February 2020.
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc with Calamba Representative Joaquin M. Chipeco, Jr., Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco and COA Regional Office IV-A Director Mario G. Lipana lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Calamba, Laguna on 11 February 2020.
Auditing public debt in a crisis (COVID-19 considerations and the Public Debt Auditor’s experience) was the focus of discussions at the annual meeting of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on Public Debt (WGPD). The virtual meetings conducted through Zoom were facilitated by the Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) as Chairman of the INTOSAI WGPD.
Around 38 member countries participated in the meetings that were held in two batches on 19 and 20 May 2021 for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Officials from SAIs Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lithuania, Moldova, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Seychelles, Maldives, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Fiji were part of the first batch while SAIs Ecuador, Chile, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Gabon, Portugal, Austria, Egypt, Northern Macedonia, Zambia, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Korea were part of the second batch. Representatives from SAI France attended as observers.
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo shared the Philippines Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) experiences in maintaining accountability and transparency during the time of pandemic at an online global discussion on “Managing COVID Funds: A Global Scorecard of Accountability” hosted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) on 24 May 2021. The discussions centered on various countries’ assessment in maintaining transparency, oversight and public participation in managing COVID Funds and highlighted the need for accountability and global effort to battle COVID-19.
Joining Chairperson Aguinaldo in the panel were Mr. Nazir Kabiri - Deputy Minister for Policy in Afghanistan, Ms. Carolina Renteria – Chief of the Planning and Finance Management Division of the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department, and Ms. Shumani Luruli – Program Coordinator for Plan Act, a Civil Society Organization (CSO) based in South Africa. Ms. Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, Secretary General of CARE International and a board member of the IBP, was the moderator.
IBP said the scale and complexity of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged governments' capacity to manage their resources effectively. By the end of 2020, more than $14 trillion had been spent on addressing the pandemic's financial impacts. These included additional spending measures, tax relief programs, and loans and loan guarantees. IBP’s report also stated that two thirds of countries failed to provide enough information on the relief packages that they introduced and almost half bypassed their legislatures.
The Commission on Audit (COA) puts emphasis on resilience and innovation in adapting to the challenges brought by the pandemic as it marks its 122nd anniversary on 8 May 2021. With the theme “Resilience and Innovation in the New Normal,” the Commission sustains quality audit performance amidst the disruptions caused by the pandemic through leveraging the use of various technologies and changes in processes and systems.
“We have tapped the use of different technologies to adapt to the pandemic situation as we transition to the new norm and to effectively and efficiently do our audit work,” Observed COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo. The Chairperson cited innovative programs such as the Machine Intelligence, Knowledge-based Audit and Experience Learning or MIKA-EL which is an envisioned artificial intelligence that provides for electronic submission of documents and assists auditors in early detection of fraud through analysis of collected digital data, and the COA Order of Execution Management Information System which is an automated system that strengthens the enforcement and monitoring of decisions on audit disallowances and charges.
“We continue to bravely face the ‘new normal’ in the performance of our mandated duties. While we continue with our work, bear in mind the circumstances of the pandemic we are in, where perhaps not all rules we apply in normal times can be applied in this ‘abnormal’ period, and where matters of substance should trump rigidities, and where observations should not lead to absurdities,” the Chairperson added. He also expressed his sympathy “for those of us who have suffered and lost loved ones” and gratitude “for those of us who continued to help and support our fellow COAns emotionally, spiritually, and financially.”
Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, for his part, noted the Commission’s continuous delivery of efficient public service. “The effects of the global pandemic opened doors for re-evaluation and reconstruction of certain tasks and services delivered by the Commission, adapting to the ‘new normal’ with primary consideration for enabling the efficient performance of audit work while ensuring our personnel’s and the public’s safety and well-being,“ Commissioner Pondoc said. “Our productivity may have gone down expectedly when the pandemic first hit but we have successfully adjusted and found ways to use information and communication technologies and changes in work processes to our advantage personally and professionally,” he added.
Activities are to be held virtually online following the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila. One of the highlights of the celebration is the “COA Salutes the Best” program to honor COA officials, personnel and retiree who performed outstanding audit work, and have shown exemplary conduct, integrity and loyalty. The program is scheduled on 6 May 2020.