The Civil Service Commission (CSC) conferred on the Commission on Audit (COA) the Maturity Level II under the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) recently.

The Certificate of Recognition recognizes COA’s efforts in pursuing excellence by intensifying its structures and methods in the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) particularly on four HRM systems: recruitment, selection, and placement; learning and development; performance management; and rewards and recognition.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo (center) shows the certificate of recognition affirming COA’s Maturity Level II under the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management. With him are Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc, CSC Director Dick N. Echavez, COA Assistant Commissioners, and officials and employees of the Professional and Institutional Development and Planning, Finance and Management Sectors and the Human Resource Management Office.

The program seeks to empower government agencies by developing their human resource management competencies, systems, and practices toward HR excellence.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) renewed its commitment to women empowerment as the focus of the theme for the national celebration of Women’s Month: We Make Change Work for Women to highlight empowered women not only as active contributors but also claimholders of gender and development (GAD).

The Philippine Commission on Women identified this theme for the celebration of National Women’s Month until 2022.

“Women are empowered when they become part of the decision-making process. In the Commission, more than 5,000 women or around 62% occupy second level positions. More than their actual positions, however, women and men have equal opportunities to take control not only in the work environment but also in their personal lives through our various programs to improve work and family life balance, physical fitness and emotional well-being,” observed Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

The Chairperson also emphasized the auditor’s role in making change work for women by ensuring that GAD funds are properly spent and that GAD programs implemented by government reach their objectives.

COA officials, athletes and personnel sing the national anthem during the opening ceremony of the celebration of National Women’s Month on 26 February 2019.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia noted that 85% of all of the awardees in last year’s COA Salutes the Best program were all women, a testament that COA’s GAD programs have been effective in empowering women.

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Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Jose A. Fabia emphasized the role of audit in governance at the Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business (PCDEB)’s 118th Founding Anniversary held at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel on 22 February 2019. PCDEB’s anniversary theme was "Bringing Business Education in a Transformative Era."

Commissioner Fabia said audit ensures accountability which plays a major role in governance.

For you to be accountable, there is always a system of accountability that is inside your own institutions which you submit every year to the Securities and Exchange Commission. If you're in government, on the other hand, you are also accountable and your accountability is measured and examined by the Commission on Audit," Commissioner Fabia pointed out.

Commissioner Fabia detailed the role of COA in the audit of government funds, explaining the various audits COA performs and the quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers of COA to make sure that there is accountability in the government. He also described the role of the Commission Proper in promulgating rules and regulations for accounting and auditing that is in accordance with international standards and said that COA has to determine the checks and balances within the organization to make sure that there is good governance existing in all government agencies. "We have to make sure that all officials in government who hold money and make decisions about money are accountable for the money that they spent," Commissioner Fabia added.

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Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was awarded by the Ateneo Professional Schools and the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. with the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, an annual award given to distinguished servant leaders for their exceptional contributions and achievements in the public and private sectors.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium at Rockwell Center, Makati City on 22 February 2019 where Chairperson Aguinaldo delivered his professorial lecture “Transparency, Accountability and the Rule of Law: Boon or Bane to Government Initiatives.”

“Transparency, accountability and the rule of law are fundamental conditions of good governance in the public sector. These are in place not solely to fight against corruption but also to improve government functioning and create a positive social, political and economic climate for the populace,” said Chairperson Aguinaldo.

Chairperson Aguinaldo noted that there are instances where inconsistent or unreasonable interpretation implementation of laws and rules become constraints to government programs, hindering officials in decision making and creating a “chilling effect” on government officials.

“Both laws and rules and government action are just parts of the process of achieving the objectives of the promotion of the common good, the conservation and development of national patrimony and securing the blessings of independence and democracy. Consequently, there is a need to strike a balance and recognize the idea of interdependence as means to achieve this end,” Chairperson Aguinaldo observed.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) conducted a forum for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) awareness campaign with free HIV testing to COA employees on 25 January 2019 at the COA Medical Clinic.

Around 100 COA employees participated in the forum which was spearheaded by COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc in coordination with the COA Medical and Dental Services and the Quezon City Health Department Batasan Social Hygiene Clinic. The forum was the Commission’s response to the recently passed Republic Act No. 11166 also known as the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018.

COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc discusses salient points of Republic Act No. 11166 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 at an HIV/AIDS awareness forum at the COA Medical Clinic.

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