ERC awards COA with Certificate of Compliance as qualified end-user for its solar facilities

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) awarded the Commission on Audit (COA) with a Certificate of Compliance as qualified end-user for its Solar Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) System installed at the COA Dormitory and the Professional and Institutional Development Sector buildings on 18 January 2023.

COA Chairperson Gamaliel A. Cordoba (center) with Commissioners Roland C. Pondoc and Mario G. Lipana join ERC Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda during the Awarding of Certificate of Compliance for the COA Solar PV System on 16 January 2023 at the CP Boardroom.

The COA Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System was installed in 2017 under a lease arrangement between the Philippine National Oil Corporation – Renewables Corporation (PNOC-RC) and COA signed on 30 May 2016 for a lease term of 15 years. It is one of the initial installations under the net metering scheme of the “Solar Rooftop Program in Government Agencies” launched by the PNOC-RC.

The Commission had the solar panels installed to show support to the renewable energy drive of the government and to utilize alternative sources of electricity at less cost. COA has benefited from savings generated since the installation of the solar facilities.

"I am truly grateful to the PNOC and the ERC for the success of this joint program and hope that more government agencies see the benefits and are encouraged to follow in our footsteps," COA Chairperson Gamaliel A. Cordoba said.

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COA mainstreams Citizen Participatory Audit

The Commission on Audit (COA) is now moving towards institutionalizing the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) after five years of pilot audits. COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc noted in the recently published PICPA Talks column of the Manila Bulletin, that COA has mainstreamed the CPA technique into regular financial, compliance and performance audits as part of COA’s initiatives in the calendar years (CYs) 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and the CY 2022 Holistic Operational Plan.

COA approved the first Annual CPA Plan (CY 2022) last 19 September 2022. In line with the CPA Plan, COA conducted a CPA dialogue with civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cotabato City for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) last 10 to 12 November 2022 in which CSO members together with the auditors of BARMM identified possible thrust areas and audit topics for future CPA engagements.

As a reform strategy, the CPA aims to uphold the people’s primordial right to a clean government and the prudent utilization of public resources, founded on the premise that public accountability can prosper only with a vigilant and involved citizenry. The CPA uses constructive engagement approach between citizens and government in monitoring the government’s use of public resources to improve government agencies’ service delivery, protect the rights of people, and promote community welfare. The CPA strategy was made possible through COA’s exclusive authority to establish the methods and techniques for its audits as mandated by the Philippine Constitution.

Since its launch in 2011, CPA audits of the KAMANAVA Flood Control Project implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, barangay health stations all over the country, Solid Waste Management Program of Quezon City and Metro Manila, Farm-to-Market Road Projects nationwide, Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects in Surigao Provinces, Disaster Risks Reduction and Management Program of the City of Tuguegarao and the Province of Albay, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program in Cagayan de Oro City, among other CPA engagements, have been conducted.

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COA Region II Auditor is National Awardee for CSC’s 2022 Dangal ng Bayan Award

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized our very own Ms. Adeline P. Baarde, State Auditor IV, from the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. II among the country’s outstanding public servants. Auditor Baarde is one of the ten National Awardees for the 2022 Dangal ng Bayan Award conferred to an individual for performing extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior. The CSC announced the list of the national winners through CSC Memorandum Circular No. 15 s. 2022 dated 29 December 2022.

Auditor Baarde’s excellent performance of her duties, strong leadership and monitoring of COA Decisions and Notices of Suspensions resulted in significant cash recoveries of government funds totaling P8,318,253.90. She conducted cash examinations on the cash and accounts of Municipal Treasurers of the Municipal Government of Palanan, Isabela and Municipal Government of Piat, Cagayan which caused restitution of cash shortages. The accountable officers were relieved from their duties and responsibilities and a cash examination report was forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman for the proper filing of appropriate case, respectively.

Conferred with the 2021 COA Gawad Karangalan award (Level II), Auditor Baarde is known for her unwavering display of courage, integrity, and loyalty. She is also part of COA’s pool of United Nations auditors and was tapped to audit various international organizations from 2017-2020.

In a Facebook post, the CSC Region II congratulated Auditor Baarde, noting that “COA is a consistent seat of servant heroes for producing national winners of CSC's Honor Awards Program (HAP).”

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Former COA Chairman Celso D. Gangan passes away

Former Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Celso Domingo Gangan passed away last 24 December 2022. He was 88 years old.

A native of Ilagan, Isabela, Chairman Gangan served as Chairman of the COA from 25 March 1994 to 1 February 2001. Chairman Gangan commissioned an organizational study to enhance the public accountability of COA with funding assistance from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP). The UNDP Study was the first comprehensive study undertaken on COA, which paved the way for the creation of the Change Management Team and Change Management Support Unit to spearhead the implementation of identified and on-going reforms, and the adoption of other reform initiatives as COA’s response to the challenges of good governance in the public sector. 

One of the hallmarks of Chairman Gangan’s administration is his generosity in providing for the needs of the COA family. Physical facilities and equipment were amply provided to the central and regional offices. Promotions and local and foreign staff training programs were pursued. He founded the COA Operation Lingap intended to help the lahar victims of Region III. In 1998, COA regained its seat in the United Nations Board of Auditors which it held for three years. It was during the term of Chairman Gangan that the COA celebrated its Centenary.

Born on 28 July 1934, Chairman Gangan was a CPA-Lawyer and a young delegate to the Constitutional Convention, representing the lone district of Isabela. He presided as Chair of the Committee on Government Audit. He recommended the creation of the Commission on Audit as a collegial body to replace the then existing General Auditing Office. Former President Corazon C. Aquino appointed him Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Vice Governor of Isabela in 1986. He was subsequently named Assistant Commissioner of the COA in August 1988 and shortly was designated Resident Ombudsman of the Central Office. He also held the position of OIC of the newly created Corporate Audit Office.

As COA Chairman, employees who served under his term remember him as a humble and approachable man who greeted them always with a smile.

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