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.”

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Commission on Audit Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo reminded the participants of the EXCEED 2021 Accounting Convention on the importance of safeguarding taxes collected by the government to be used in the yearly National Expenditure Program.

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo talked about COA's role in safeguarding the country's coffers and why taxes are deemed to be the lifeblood of the government in one of the various simultaneous classes of the EXCEED 2021 Accounting Convention that is taking place between 17 to 24 April 2021 with the theme, “Reshaping Business Dynamics, Catalyzing Post Pandemic Nation-Building.”

One hundred ninety-five students and participants attended the Chairperson’s lecture-presentation entitled “COA at a Glance.”

Sponsored by the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants – De La Salle University Chapter, the convention aims to educate future business leaders as we prepare to enter a post-pandemic world of business and accounting. The convention featured several “classes” which are composed of a wide selection of topics that were presented by experts in their respective fields. The Accounting Convention is open to university students from all over the Philippines but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event is being held entirely via Zoom and YouTube.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) conducted the first batch of the Online Training on the Handbook on the Financial Transactions of the Sangguniang Kabataan (HFTSK) on 26 February 2021 to help youth civil leaders realize financial independence in the management of their funds.

A total of 45 SK officials from different barangays  in Metro Manila, Baguio City, Rizal, Batangas, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Quezon, Mindoro, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Sorsogon and Davao Oriental participated in the training conducted by the Commission’s Government Accountancy Sector (GAS) and the Professional and Institutional Development Sector

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The Commission on Audit (COA) joined the celebration of National Women’s Month (NWM) which highlights women’s participation in battling the COVID 19 pandemic with the additional theme “Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya.” 

The theme adds another dimension in this year’s campaign to focus on gender issues that became more prominent during the pandemic and women who have thrived despite the circumstances, among others. The 2017-2022 theme of the NWM celebration “WE Make CHANGE for Women” aims to inform and engage women as stakeholders making “change” a conscious effort, strengthen the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women through various gender and development (GAD) platforms and promote gender equality and women empowerment.

COA officials and personnel participate in the virtual opening program of the National Women’s Month celebration on 1 March 2021.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo said the challenges brought by the pandemic make advancing gender equality and women empowerment more important especially for the marginalized and vulnerable sectors. “COA has intensified the implementation of various programs to advance women empowerment. We continuously conduct capacity building programs that cater to the needs and concerns of every COA employee, believing that everyone deserves to be given a chance to realize their full potential regardless of gender,” he said.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) conducted a performance audit of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) All Case Rate (ACR) Payment Scheme covering the period since its implementation in 2011 until June 30, 2020.

Previously, PhilHealth utilized the Fee-for-Service payment scheme, health care institutions (HCIs) such as hospitals and clinics were reimbursed an amount based on the actual charges for the patient’s treatment. This led to delays in the reimbursement due to differences in rates and fees charged by each HCIs and the difficulty in validating such charges. In some instances, this also resulted in bloated charges.

Under the ACR Payment Scheme, PhilHealth pays all claims using a case rate which is a predetermined fixed rate for each covered case or disease. For example, natural childbirth has a case rate of ₱5,000, which will be paid uniformly among all HCIs. The result is that instead of undergoing the process of computing the reimbursements based on actual costs, the HCI will be reimbursed a fix amount, which may be more or less than the actual cost. The idea behind the ACR, which is utilized in other jurisdictions as well, is to incentivize HCIs to be more efficient.  If the case rate for a specific treatment is lower than the actual cost, the HCI will try to be more efficient in the costing of the treatment. On the other hand, if the case rate is higher than the actual cost, the HCI gets to keep the difference as a form of “efficiency gains.”

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