Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo shakes hands with Northern Samar Governor Jose L. Ong after the signing of a deed of donation for a parcel of land in Barangay Dalakit, Catarman which is the proposed site for a Provincial Satellite Audit Office..
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo lauded personnel of COA Regional Office No. VIII for having one hundred percent accomplishment rate in Annual Audit Reports for 2014 despite constraints in physical and other support facilities resulting from destruction by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The original regional office had six buildings but after Typhoon Yolanda struck the province, only two remained and only one has been refurbished. COA auditors there hold office in what used to be their canteen.
“Despite all the challenges, despite the fact that you have to work in a single building, despite the fact that some of you are working without computers or laptops because they were part of those that were damaged, you were still able to come out with your reports on time,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.
“If people in that area who have suffered a lot were still able to do their jobs, then it tells that there is no reason for others not to be able to do their jobs as well,” he added.
Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioners Heidi L. Mendoza, and Jose A. Fabia recently visited COA Regional Office VIII, Candahug, Palo, Leyte to hold a Commission Proper (CP) meeting and dialogue with regional personnel.
Speaking for the first time to office personnel in Leyte, Chairperson Aguinaldo affectionately addressed everyone as “kapamilya” and “kapuso” and updated them on the strategic plan for the next seven years. Chairperson Aguinaldo said he expects auditors not only to recommend measures on the efficient use of public funds but also to educate agency personnel on the correct use of public funds.
Commissioner Mendoza encouraged auditors to look forward to the good things happening in COA instead of focusing on the negative aspect like lack of manpower. She advised auditors “na ingatan at iwasto ang paggamit ng kapangyarihan.” She likewise spoke about the sincerity of the new Chairman and went further by saying, “mabait si Chairman, dapat mas mabait kayo.”
Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, for his part, recognized the dedication to duty of Director Susan P. Donalvo who survived the onslaught of Yolanda while assigned at the Regional Office. He urged auditors to perform their duties and see to it that public funds are spent wisely in the face of whatever threats they are exposed.
Meanwhile, the CP with Assistant Commissioner Arcadio B, Cuenco, Jr. and other Central Office and Regional officials also inspected proposed sites of two Provincial Satellite Audit Offices (PSAO) in Catarman, Northern Samar and Catbalogan, Western Samar.
The CP and the Provincial Government of Northern Samar represented by its Governor, Jose L. Ong, Jr., signed a Deed of Donation for a parcel of land approximately 1,545 square meters in Brgy. Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar.
Regional Director Delfin P. Aguilar recalled that as a former auditor assigned in Northern Samar, he also dreamed of having a satellite office which auditors in Northern Samar can call home and he is happy to see the realization of this dream.
After inspecting the PSAO in Catarman, the Chairperson proceeded to Catbalogan and was warmly welcomed by Governor Sharee Ann T. Tan of Western Samar. The Provincial Government of Western Samar also donated a parcel of land to COA containing an area of approximately 1,000 square meters near the Provincial Capitol Building. - with report from Atty. Luisita A. Catalon, COA Regional Office No. VIII