Commissioner Jose A. Fabia ends COA term

Published: 7 February 2020

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Jose A. Fabia ended his term as Commissioner on 2 February 2020 following six successful years spearheading initiatives to enable COA become a more impactful organization.

Commissioner Fabia was appointed to COA on 2 May 2014 and was confirmed in record time by the Commission on Appointments without opposition from its members on 11 June 2014. He is a lawyer, entrepreneur and servant leader who has contributed effectively in the fields of public accountability, communications and healthcare.

The Commission held a celebration to honor the Commissioner held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on 30 January 2020.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia is joined by his staff who presented him with a painting of their hand prints as a gift during his retirement celebration on 30 January 2020.

Recalling the time when he joined COA, Commissioner Fabia said he asked himself how he could gain the trust and respect of his fellow Commissioner, the Chairman, and COA officials and employees. “The only way to gain their respect is by competence, by transparency and by doing your job beyond the call of duty,” he noted.

Commissioner Fabia said he formed a friendship with his fellow Commission Proper members, who he noted are all strong and very intelligent men and women of the Commission. He noted that while they may not always agree with each other, they have the best interests of the country and the Commission in their hearts.

Commissioner Fabia also paid tribute to his wife who the Commissioner describes as a great partner who inspires and supports.

Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, former COA Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza and Isabel D. Agito, former Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires, Justice Reynaldo P. Cruz, National Labor Relations Commission Commissioner Joseph E. Mabilog, and former Presidential Communications Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma, Jr. were among the guests who joined COA officials and staff in paying tribute to Commissioner Fabia.

“Through the years, the Commissioner has been a great partner. I am grateful for his embrace of the philosophy that hindi lang dapat tayo naghahanap ng mali kundi dapat nagtuturo din tayo ng tama,” said Chairperson Aguinaldo.

Commissioner Fabia helped spearhead the refinement of the Commission’s 2016-2022 Strategic Plan. Among others, the Commissioner advocated for the use of GPS and Geo-tagging as audit tools in monitoring public works projects to deter ghost projects.

Commissioner Fabia first joined the government in 1987 as Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Department of Health. His health legal reform advocacy led to the amendment of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the enactment of the Milk Code and the Generics Act. From 1992 to 1995, Commissioner Fabia served as Municipal Mayor of Binmaley, Pangasinan where he planned and implemented nutrition, food, environment and Medicare program for indigents.

Commissioner Fabia was the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, helping transform the company into a billion peso corporation in 1998. He also served as Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) from 2010 to 2012. At the PIA, he instituted the use of mobile phone technology and social media platforms to disseminate timely and relevant information on government programs, introducing a text messaging emergency alert to all mobile phone users during calamities which later became the basis for the enactment of The Free Mobile Disaster Act.

For his significant contributions in the field of public service, Commissioner Fabia was awarded the Most Outstanding Pangasinense in Public Service by the Kaluyagan nen Palaris, a socio-civic confederation of Pangasinan organizations.

After retirement in 2020, the Commissioner intends to teach his audience self-care, food sufficiency, care for the environment, and techniques to assure good governance, through distance learning and social media.