Quezon City, Philippines- After three years and nine months, Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan is set to retire from her post as the Commission’s Chairperson on February 2.

Chairperson Pulido Tan told reporters who attended the launch of the second phase of the Citizen Participatory Audit project on January 22, 2015 that she would use her break from government service to relax.

“No plans, I just want to relax, do all the things I missed doing while I was in the Commission, maglilinis ako ng bahay, mag-aalaga ako ng apo at magga-garden uli,” the Chairperson said.

When asked if she received any offers for a different government post, the Chairperson was mum, saying she is not inclined to take another government position at this time but she hinted that she was not closing her doors either.

“I’m not inclined to take a position at this time. It’s like when I came to COA, wala naman talaga akong balak, wala akong ambisyon. But things happen. I prayed about it and I came to the conclusion that this is probably what God wants me to do. I will be obedient. I leave it all up to God,” she said. 

Chairperson Pulido Tan said working with COAns was the biggest fulfilment of her career in COA.

“It is my greatest fulfilment to lead this 9,000-strong organization. It was ground-breaking work. I did my best with the time I was given and it was enough. No regrets,” Chairperson Pulido Tan said. 

“Kung ano man ang naibahagi ko sa kanila, it is for them to utilize. COA and COAns will continue to work with fullest dedication in performance of their duties,” the Chairperson said when asked what legacy she will be leaving COA and its employees and officials.

The feisty Chairperson led the special audit that uncovered anomalies and alleged misuse of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which eventually led to the Supreme Court decision striking down PDAF as unconstitutional.

“Sa akin, trabaho lang. I was appointed to this position. I was confirmed by the legislature. I committed to do my best and it was part of the job. I had to do it. It had such great impact on governance, society and people. If that’s what people will remember me for, thank you,” Chairperson PulidoTan said.

Asked about her possible successor, Chairperson Pulido Tan said it is up to the President, refusing even to speculate any possible candidates.

“Hindi ko alam, that is the prerogative of the President,” Chairperson Pulido Tan told the reporters when asked if Budget Secretary Butch Abad or Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares will be the next COA Chairperson. - Dennis Cariño