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.
The Commission on Audit (COA) held a series of webinars across its various regional offices to discuss the Commission’s role in the Philippine Government’s response to COVID-19 in the emergency and post-emergency phases.
Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc was the sole resource speaker on all webinars hosted by the different COA regional offices. He emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency, with associated significant economic impact, affecting all developing and developed countries. The presentation was based on the Accountability and Oversight Institutions Community of Practice in the World Bank Group which he tailor-fitted for the Commission.
“The Commission on Audit needs to retain a comprehensive mandate covering all public funds and resources mobilized in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Commissioner Pondoc strongly urged.
The regional offices that played host to the webinar were: COA Regional Office No. I on 10 July, attended by 100 participants; COA BARMM on 14 July (196); COA Regional Office No. XII on 15 July (219); COA Regional Office No. XI on 17 July (278); COA Regional Office No. XIII also on 17 July (292); COA Regional Office No. X on 21 July 2020 (300)COA Regional Office No. V on 24 July (341); COA Regional Office No. VIII also on 24 July (321); COA Regional Office No. III on 29 July (323); COA Regional Office No. VII on 4 August (317); COA Regional Office No. VI on 5 August (276); COA Regional Office No. II on 6 August (109); and COA NIS Regional Satellite Audit Office on 10 August 2020. The first webinar was hosted by COA Regional Office No. IX on 9 July with 344 COA personnel in attendance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought heightened uncertainty over the economy, employment, finances, relationships, physical and mental health. During these difficult times, accountants across the country took up the challenge of continuing to be the guardians of our economy amidst the "new normal," and RISING up in solidarity to participate and update their accounting knowledge and skills during the first ever virtual 2020 Accountancy Week Celebration (AWC) that was held from 12 to 18 July 2020.
This year's theme, “Filipino CPAs RISING in Solidarity Amidst Challenging Times," focuses on solidarity within the profession as the impact of the pandemic greatly affects not only the accounting practice but also other professions as well as the economy of the country.
During the virtual opening program of the AWC, Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc said that the week-long event highlights the value and contribution of Filipino CPAs in nation-building. He said the activities set for the week aims to show support of solidarity to the continuing commitment of the accounting professionals in both government and private sectors to be more relevant during the changing and challenging times. The Commissioner said that CPAs should attend the programs and webinars scheduled for the AWC to be updated and informed of what will be the proper approaches to face the challenges that the new normal brings to the accountancy profession.
"Remember that as long as we have that HOPE in our hearts, we can RISE above these challenging times and be able to continue our mission as a professional organization, because together as one, we shall all prevail," Commissioner Pondoc declared.
The AWC continued with the Government Association of Certified Public Accountants (GACPA) Day program and webinar that was held virtually through Zoom and Facebook Live on 16 July 2020.
In his inspirational message, Hon. Noe G. Quiñanola, Chairperson, PR Board of Accountancy said he is surprised and happy to know that many CPAs from other sectors joined the GACPA event which is a manifestation that accountants value the accounting profession. He encouraged everyone to guard the accounting profession against threats or elements and challenged all CPAs to subscribe to the tagline: "A strong accountancy profession begins with me."
Ensuring transparency and accountability without creating a bottleneck in the government’s response to the current pandemic is one of the challenges discussed in the webinar on the “Role of the COA in the Philippine Government’s Response to COVID-19: Emergency and Post-Emergency Phases” conducted by the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. IX on 9 July 2020. The webinar was also broadcasted on Facebook Live.
COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc was the resource person at the webinar which was attended by 344 participants from COA Regional Office No. IX led by Director Visitacion Q. Mendoza.
“There will be adjustments in our normal audit practices and I hope we will be able to identify the important points that we need to consider to continue our functions and roles as employees of COA,” Commissioner Pondoc said. “We need to transition through unique challenges to ensure continued transparency and accountability without becoming a bottleneck,” he added.
Commissioner Pondoc noted some key principles during the emergency stage including prioritizing safety of people, frontliners, audit and auditee staff; taking advantage of digital audit technology to continue audit operations remotely; securing audit trails on COVID-19 through monitoring, documenting and analyzing government responses; and maintaining effective communication with key stakeholders, among others.
For the post-emergency stage, Commissioner Pondoc suggested using professional judgment to contextualize conclusions to the COVID-19 emergency and developing approaches for expenditures from blended funding sources, among other principles. Considerations in the post-emergency stage also include government high-priority programs in terms of materiality and risks such as social ameliorations, stimulus package and distribution of medical and food supplies and challenges such as missing audit trails, limited access to data and onsite physical verification and alternate procedures or solutions.
The Commissioner also observed audit of procurement should align with actions taken during the COVID 19 emergency, noting that the risk of fraud is always present but is elevated during emergency cases. He also emphasized the need for coordination with accountability agencies.