Published: 6 October 2017
Former Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Francisco S. Tantuico, Jr. passed away in the evening of 5 October 2017. He was 87 years old.
Chairman Tantuico was the second Chairman of the audit body when it became a Constitutional Commission under the 1973 Constitution. He held the Commission’s helm from 1975 to 1986. Under his leadership, the Commission underwent comprehensive and far-reaching reforms such as the adoption of comprehensive audit which expanded auditing services to include financial and performance audits; revision of accounting and auditing rules and procedures; and professionalization of the auditing service and organizational restructuring of the Commission. He was also instrumental in the promulgation and issuance of PD 1445 or the General Auditing Code of the Philippines.
Chairman Tantuico established linkages with world audit bodies, paving the way for the Commission’s current respected status in the international audit community. He was a prime mover in the creation of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) in 1979 to improve public audit performance of governments in Asia through training, research and education. He was the first Secretary General of the ASOSAI. Chairman Tantuico was also elected member of the United Nations Board of Auditors in 1984.
As COA Chairman, his colleagues and staff remember him as a strict, meticulous and hands-on leader who placed importance on quality and timeliness. When asked about deadlines of assignments, he was said to always reply with “yesterday.” He was also a leader who looked after the welfare of low-ranking staff and who always had his office open to all employees.
Prior to his appointment to the top COA post, Chairman Tantuico was an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals. He continued to serve after his retirement to head the Fiscal Administration Foundation which promotes research and development in various disciplines of accounting, auditing and public fiscal administration as well as stints at the United Nations Development Programme and the Policy, Training and Technical Assistance Facility.
Chairman Tantuico’s remains lie at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig. The COA community expresses its deepest condolences to the late Chairman’s family.