SAI Philippines wins 1st Hackathon BPK Competition

The Commission on Audit (COA), the Philippine Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), won first place at the professional level in the Hackathon BPK Competition – Indonesia with the theme “Hack for Accountability and Transparency” held by the Audit Board of Indonesia (Badan Pemerika Keuangan) to commemorate its 74th Anniversary. 

The competition aimed to improve public engagement in audit-related activities through their involvement in developing software that can assist in audit and to enhance public awareness of the importance of accountability. It was open for students and professionals both at the national and international levels across the ASEAN and is expected to be a source of inspiration for the youth to strive for innovation, especially in adapting to the new normal. Judging of the entries were held in Jakarta from 12-13 January 2021 or virtually, via online connection.

The COA team was composed of Mr. Gerald M. Mendeja (project lead), Mr. Jewelle Caezar G. Gadiano, and Marwin A. de Guzman of the Information Technology Office.  The team developed the Project Reporting of Infrastructure Schedule Monitoring System (PRISM) which is an application designed for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of different government infrastructure projects through different platforms such as web and mobile.

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Groundbreaking ceremony held for new PSAO Rizal

The groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the new Commission on Audit (COA) Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) in Rizal was held on 5 January 2020. The site of the new PSAO building is located at Sitio Cabading, Barangay Inarawan, Antipolo City.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with Assistant Commissioner Luzvi P. Chatto, COA Region IV-A Regional Director Mario G. Lipana, Assistant Regional Director Maria Oliva V. Ortega and Director Amelia P. Valdez of the General Services Office led the ceremony. Rizal Governor Rebecca “Nini” A. Ynares and Antipolo City Mayor Andrea B. Ynares led the guests from the local government units (LGUs) that included City Legal Officer Atty. Cedrick Justice U. Capiral, City Engineer Jesus S. Gonzaga, City Planning and Development Officer Rowena T. Zapanta, Provincial Treasurer Ma. Teresa E. Lasquety, and OIC-City Budget Officer Ms. Priscilla R. Padua.

Chairperson Aguinaldo thanked the City of Antipolo and the Province of Rizal for being gracious in allowing COA to use the land for its satellite office in Rizal. He mentioned that there are currently 49 operating PSAOs all over the country. Chairperson Aguinaldo spoke of the importance of interdependence among different bodies of government that work together towards better public service. He also thanked the members of the COA family for their perseverance and making the best out of this difficult time of global pandemic.

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COA clarification: Congress did not incur confidential and intelligence expenses for 2019

Contrary to recent news reports, neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate of the Philippines had confidential or intelligence funds in the 2019 budget.

The 2019 Annual Financial Report (AFR) for the National Government cited in the news reports shows that the Congress of the Philippines had no confidential and intelligence expenses incurred for the year ended 31 December 2019. While appearing under the sub-major account category Confidential, Intelligence and Extraordinary Expenses prescribed under the Revised Chart of Accounts for National Government Agencies, the P3.98 Billion entry clearly refers to the item “Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenses”. The AFR clearly shows that the Congress of the Philippines did not incur any Confidential or Intelligence expenses in 2019.

Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenses, as provided under Section 47 of the General Provisions of the FY 2019 General Appropriations Act include, but are not limited to, expenses incurred for various activities such as meetings, seminars and conferences; office equipment and supplies; public relations; educational, athletic and cultural activities; subscription to professional, technical journals and informative magazines, library book and materials; and other similar expenses not supported by the regular budget allocation.

The sub-major account category Confidential, Intelligence and Extraordinary Expenses refer to three general ledger accounts: confidential expenses (related to surveillance activities in civilian government agencies), intelligence expenses (related to intelligence information gathering activities of uniformed, military personnel and intelligence practitioners), and extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses (incidental to the performance of official functions).

The Revised Chart of Accounts was adopted to conform to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

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COA honors retirees, loyalty awardees as part of simple Christmas celebration

The Commission on Audit (COA) honored its 2020 retirees and loyalty awardees led by former Commissioner Jose A. Fabia at a virtual recognition program held on 21 December 2020.

The Commission’s recognition of its retirees and loyalty awardees highlighted a simple COA Christmas celebration centered on the theme “Pasko 2020: Pag-ibig at Pag-asa sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”

As a safety precaution in this time of pandemic, the Commission held the traditional Christmas greetings to the Commission Proper through a virtual ceremony and omitted the annual Christmas lunch with low-salaried employees.

“Sa kabila ng mga pagsubok na dala ng COVID-19 at mga sakunang dulot ng mga nagdaang sunod sunod na bagyo, nanatili tayong matatag sa pagsagawa ng ating tungkulin at tapat na paglilingkod sa ating bansa. Sa lahat ng ito, hatid sa atin ng Panginoon ang Kapayapaan at Pag-asa na mas makapangyarihan kaysa sa takot,” COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo said in his Christmas message to COAns.

“Sa ating pagbabalik-tanaw sa taong ito, sama-sama nating hinarap at sama-sama rin nating malalagpasan ang mga pagsubok. Natutuwa ako, bilang iisang pamilya sa COA, na ginampanan natin ang mga tungkulin na bantayan at pagyamanin ang kaban ng ating bayan sa gitna ng mga hamon ng pandemya. Ako ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa bawat kawani ng COA,” he added.

Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, for his part, reminded COAns that this season is a time of hope and thanksgiving. “Ito ay panahon ng Pag-asa at Pasasalamat sa mga biyayang ipinagkaloob sa atin, sa mga taong naging inspirasyon natin, at sa mga pangyayaring nagpatatag sa atin na siyang instrumento ng ating pagkakaisa. Bilang isang ahensya, nawa ay sama-sama pa rin nating ipagdiwang ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko sa pamamagitan ng pagtutulungan, pagmamahalan at pagbibigayan ng kasiyahan sa bawat isa,” he said.

COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia led the list of COA officials who have retired in 2020 which also included Assistant Commissioners Joseph B. Anacay, Adelina Concepcion L. Ancajas, Leila S. Paras, Carmela S. Perez and Elizabeth S. Zosa and Directors Melanie R. Añonuevo, Irma S. Besas, Danilo M. Lagason, Luis S. Mejia, Emelita R. Quirante, Lynn S. Sicangco, Angelina B. Villanueva, Lydia S. Adoremos, Lorna V. Anacay, Gertrudes D. Donato, Emma U. Escusa, Antonio L. Gopez, Cora D. Marquez, Susana S. Medez, Maria S. Sarmiento, and Bismarck R. Turingan.

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