COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc receive tokens from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) during the close-out ceremony for USAID’s Integrity for Investments Initiative (i3) held at the COA CP Board Room on 13 April 2018. USAID was represented by Office of Economic Development and Governance (OEDG) Deputy Director Leslie Schaefer and Ms. Ria Orca. Also present were Ms. Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, Chief of Party and Mr. Daniel Lee, Deputy Chief of Party of I3.

The Commission on Audit (COA) acknowledged the contribution of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Integrity for Investments Initiative (I3) in helping boost the COA’s anti-corruption thrusts and audit operations during the close out ceremony held on 13 April 2018 at the COA CP Board Room. The USAID I3 supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Philippine government, primarily of the COA and the Office of the Ombudsman. The I3 assisted in the effective enforcement of anti-corruption laws by improving skills, policies, and systems. The goal of the I3 was to contribute to inclusive growth by reducing the costs of corruption to investments and trade, and promoting open and fair competition.

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COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo signs the Internal Auditing Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (IASPPS) with Philippine Application Guidelines (PAG) and Internal Control Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (ICSPPS) during the launch of the Standards at the Commission on Audit on 12 April 2018. Witnesses to the signing are COA Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc and officials of the Association of Government Internal Auditors and Institute of Internal Auditors – Philippines.

Quezon City – To help government agencies strengthen accountability and boost effectiveness and efficiency, the Commission on Audit (COA) developed the Internal Auditing Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (IASPPS) with Philippine Application Guidelines (PAG) and the Internal Control Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (ICSPPS). The standards were officially released on 12 April 2018, at the COA Old SAADO Auditorium.

Developed by COA’s Internal Auditing Research and Development Committee, the standards are based on acknowledged benchmarks of international good practices in internal auditing while, at the same time, take into account the current situation of the Philippine Public sector. It is upon this guidance that the practice of internal auditing and internal control systems adopted by the agencies shall be evaluated.

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The nomination of Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland Café Pondoc passed the scrutiny of the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices and was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments during its plenary session on 14 March 2018.

New COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc (3rd from left) is joined by (from left) Rep. Sandy Ocampo, Rep. Roy M. Loyola, COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Senate Auditor Olympia Balugay.

Commissioner Pondoc was nominated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to the Commission on 6 February 2018 for a seven-year term expiring 2 February 2025 vice Atty. Isabel B. Dasalla-Agito. His nomination breezed through the confirmation process without any opposition from the Committee members.

Committee Chairperson Senator Cynthia A. Villar’s speech for the confirmation of Commissioner Pondoc’s nomination, delivered by Congressman Rodolfo T. Albano III, said that “it is our solemn duty to confirm all those persons who shall guard the peoples’ fund with vigilance, competence and integrity and that is the reason that the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices is convinced that Atty. Roland Café Pondoc, with his intelligence, experience and passion, is worthy to be appointed as Commissioner of the Commission on Audit.”

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The Commission on Audit (COA) enhanced its Strategic Goals under the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan to highlight its bodies of work in direct relation to the Commission’s mandate.

To emphasize the higher level outcomes that the Commission seeks to pursue, two previous goals: Create Positive Impact and Enable and Empower Agencies, became part of COA’s Strategic Pillars together with Enhancing Independence. These Pillars support all of the strategic goals.

 The six enhanced strategic goals under the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and their respective Goal Champions are:

A. Improve the Quality and Timeliness of Audits- Assistant Commissioner Rizalina Q. Mutia

B. Enhance the Discharge of Adjudication and Investigatory Functions- Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth S. Zosa

C. Improve government Accountancy Services - Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo

D. Strengthen Support to Operations - Assistant Commissioner Luz L. Tolentino

E. Improve General Administration and Support Services - Assistant Commissioner Rufina S. Laquindanum

F. Enhance Engagement and Cooperation with Stakeholders - Assistant Commissioner Carmela S. Perez

“Our strategic plan is not cast in stone. It is a work in progress,” observed COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo. The Chairperson emphasized the importance of making adjustments and reminded everyone that what translates in the field does not always correlate to what was planned and discussed. He said the Commission’s long-term target is to improve government operations.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) moves to level up its gender mainstreaming efforts as it joins the national celebration of 2018 National Women’s Month spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) this March with the theme “WE Make Change work for Women.”

After ranking first among government agencies assessed by the PCW for their gender mainstreaming efforts in 2016, the Commission leveled up its Gender and Development (GAD) programs including the continuous improvement in the audit of GAD funds, active participation in GAD-related events such as the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City and the issuance of policies such as the establishment of the Women Help Desk of the COA GAD Focal Point System (GFPS).

The Commission garnered an over-all score of 81.23 which is equivalent to Level 4, meaning the Commission’s GAD efforts reached the Commitment Enhancement and Institutionalization level. COA was the only government agency to have reached Level 4 using the Enhanced Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework.

“To make change work for women, we need to level up our gender mainstreaming efforts to empower women as decision makers and contributors to development as well as implement the Magna Carta of Women at all levels. It takes our combined endeavor and determination to make changes that are truly responsive to the issues that women and men face,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

“We in the COA play a crucial role in this mission by making sure that GAD funds are properly and judiciously spent by government and that GAD programs implemented by government agencies have value to their beneficiaries,” he added.

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