115th Year of State Audit
President Benigno S. Aquino III with COA Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan, Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza with other heads of agencies and government officials at the 2nd State Conference on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Implementation and Review at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañan Palace on December 02, 2014. The conference’s theme, “Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration and Coalition in Pushing Urgent Measures on Corruption Prevention and Criminalization, Asset Recovery, and International Cooperation Toward Improving Integrity in Governance.” (Photo credit: Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau).
Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan with Congresswoman Leni Robredo and Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera joins the discussion on accountability and good governance at the National Conference on “Strengthening Accountability to Sustain Reforms” organized by the Ateneo School of Government – Political Democracy and Reforms (ASoG-PODER) last November 19, 2014 at the Astoria Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Business District, Pasig City.
Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido Tan presented the Long Form Report last November 4, 2014 at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters, Rome, Italy to the FAO Finance Committee headed by Chairperson Medi Moungi. Joining the Chair are Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Zosa, Director Lito Martin, Director Milagros Lapus, Director Danilo Cabug and the Philippine Embassy’s Chargé d'Affaires Leila Lora-Santos and Agricultural Attaché Lupino Lazaro, Jr. (Photo courtesy of Dir. Cabug)
Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido Tan answers questions from moderator Howie Severino at the Innovative Government Partnerships: Forum on Open Government and the National Budget September 3, 2014 Crowne Plaza Manila, Ortigas Center
Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan (far right) with (from left) Mr. Basile Gilbert, PFMP Representative, Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza and Mr. Daniel Federston, DFAT-Australian Embassy Representative shortly after the turn-over ceremony of the Citizen Participatory Audit on May 5, 2014. The jeepney, being a common means of transportation used by Filipinos from all walks of life to head towards a certain destination, was used to convey what the CPA is all about: bringing together people from different fields of expertise to work together towards good governance.
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.
The team that conducted the special audit of the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG)- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) covering the period January 2008 to September 2009 won the Pag-asa award conferred by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The ORG-ARMM special audit team uncovered anomalies including fictitious procurements amounting to Ᵽ1.3 billion. Of that amount, transactions amounting to more than Ᵽ393 million were denied by alleged suppliers as having been contracted with them. Likewise, the other suppliers were not licensed or have questionable capability to supply the agency requirements.
The team was composed of Director Evelyn P. Reyes (over-all team supervisor), Director Elsielin C. Masangcay (team supervisor), Auditors Florefe S. Avila (team leader) and Grace T. De Castro (co-team leader), and Marilyn C. Bibat, Joselita G. Corteza, Gale Kathrine M. Hernandez and Dondon P. Marcos (team members).
“We are honored to receive such an award. While it is recognized that at some time or another, we are at risk in conducting our audits, it is still our responsibility to perform our work to the best that we can with honesty, integrity and independence,” said Director Reyes. “We feel that credit should also go to Assistant Commissioner Susan Garcia who was involved in the audit, accompanying the team in obtaining additional documents, conducting confirmation and project inspections in ARMM while she was director of the Special Audit Office,” she added.
As Pag-asa awardees, the team will receive a gold-gilded medallion and plaque as well as Ᵽ100,000 cash prize. The CSC confers the Pag-asa Award to an individual or group of individuals for outstanding contributions resulting from an idea or performance which directly benefits more than one department of the government.