Celebrating COA’s one and only Chair Mike

Published: 9 February 2022

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”- A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

The Commission on Audit’s (COA) beloved Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo ended his term as COA Chairperson on 02 February 2022, after seven years of extraordinary leadership and exceptional public service.

Chair Mike, as he is fondly called, led COA towards new frontiers and high level of effectiveness in the performance of its mandates. His work ethic and passion for excellence propelled him to greatness and a high level of respect that will be forever etched in the hearts of COAns. What makes Chair Mike most endearing to all COA officials and employees alike, is his kind-hearted nature that makes coming and working in COA an everyday pleasure.

The entire Commission expressed their most profound appreciation and gratitude, sweet farewells, and best wishes for Chairperson Aguinaldo in a simple virtual program held on 26 January 2022.

Former and current COA Commissioners who worked with Chair Mike, Assistant Commissioners, Directors, Regional Directors, employees, and job order personnel from COA offices around the country paid tribute to Chair Mike as one of the most respected and beloved leader of the Commission.

Former Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza recalled Chair Mike’s humility and respect for everyone in the Commission. “He will never make you feel like di mo alam yung mga sinasabi mo or hindi mo naiintindihan. Kaya sa akin, napakahusay at napakalaking opportunity for those who were given the chance to learn from him,” she said.

According to former Commissioner Isabel D. Agito, who had been with the Commission for more than four decades, Chair Mike is one of the most considerate and compassionate leaders of COA. Commissioner Agito said, “Sir, you are a blessing and an inspiration to everybody. Goodluck and God speed on your new journey. May God bestow upon you His blessings and His graces, His guidance and His protection.”

Meanwhile, former Commissioner Jose A. Fabia remembered that Chair Mike told him and Commissioner Mendoza way back in 2015 that he will always have their backs. “Over time and over the years, even before and after my retirement, I have seen how he had made this promise a reality. When I looked at all the years he supported me, I always say, you really had my back. He allowed me to grow in the Commission and to serve meaningfully in the Commission,” Commissioner Fabia recounted.

For his part, current Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc conveyed his deepest gratitude for having the privilege to work side by side with Chair Mike. He said that it was Chair Mike’s competence, fitness, and efficiency as the head of the Commission that led to the development and implementation of various programs and initiatives in COA. Commissioner Pondoc also said that Chair Mike has been instrumental in ensuring that COA is seen in a different light by our auditees by emphasizing that COA is a partner of every government agency in nation building and that the COA is here not only to point out what is wrong but also to teach what is right.

“There are many more accomplishments that Chair Mike has achieved but for me, the greatest of this is his ability to empathize with all people, COAns and non-COAns alike. His gentle nature as a person and as a leader will be among the things that we will all remember even in the years ahead. Through his example, we learn that being a government employee is more than just a job. It is a way of life. Even though Chair Mike exits the doors of the Commission, he will always serve as an inspiration and encouragement to all of us. The standards of professionalism that he had set, the compassion for our co-workers, and the passion to serve our fellowmen will be etched in our hearts and minds, and we will try to pass it on to the next generation of COAns,” Commissioner Pondoc sincerely said.

Commissioner Pondoc also presented Chair Mike with an exceptional leadership recognition plaque to honor the Chairperson’s legacy and leadership.

Chairperson Aguinaldo was touched by the sendoff that the Commission had prepared for him. He said that once he realized that COA is indeed a family, he embraced it. “Being a member of the COA family is something that I really felt, and I want to say thank you to everyone for making me feel that way and for living up to that feeling because it’s really special,” Chair Mike said. He also said he will always remember the camaraderie and the affection whenever he will visit COA.

On behalf of the COA family, we want to thank you, Chair Mike, for your leadership that has always been inspirational. Your leadership and vision made you a great leader, but your integrity, respect, and compassion make you a great person.

From all of us, thank you and best wishes to all your future endeavors!