The Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) will host around 100 audit officials from 45 countries at the 16th assembly meeting of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on Environmental Audit (WGEA) from September 29 to October 2, 2014.

“Our recent audits on the Philippines’ disaster management system and in particular the Special Report on Typhoon Yolanda emphasizes the importance of exposing the areas that need improvement in the country’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities and in improving transparency and accountability in the use of disaster funds and resources. Disaster risk reduction, however, is only one concern among many on environment protection and sustainable development that will surely be discussed in the meet,” said COA Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza.

“It is important for us to exchange knowledge, to learn from each other’s experiences and to join in cooperative audit engagements because environment issues go beyond national borders,” added Commissioner Mendoza.

Senator Loren B. Legarda, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. Paje and Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla will join experts from the European Environment Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia, and INTOSAI Development Initiative, among other keynote speakers.

WGEA aims to improve the use of audit mandate and audit instruments in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. It is the largest working group of the INTOSAI, with 77-member countries.

Indonesia is the current chair of the WGEA with the Philippine COA as member of the steering committee along with Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, European Court of Auditors, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, and the United States