The Commission on Audit Regional Office No. XIII (CARAGA) marked three milestones with the inauguration of its newly constructed Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) in Surigao del Norte on 16 October and a new multi-purpose covered court inside the Regional Compound in Butuan City on 17 October 2018. Regional officials and personnel likewise took the Integrity Pledge oath on 17 October.

Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, Director Carmelita J. Pagayawan, Director Virgilio L. Mendez, and Regional Director Usmin P. Diamel led the inauguration of the PSAO Surigao del Norte, the second completed PSAO in Region XIII. Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas, Surigao del Norte Governor Sol F. Matugas and other local officials, and several COA Central Office and Regional Staff graced the occasion.

Commissioner Pondoc expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Matugas family for their continuing support to the endeavors of the Commission. Director Diamel, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of the Commission’s partnership with local government units and its commitment for an effective and efficient public service through concerted efforts with its stakeholders and the public.

PSAO Surigao del Norte shall be the new home of the different local, national, and corporate audit teams assigned in Surigao City, Province of Surigao del Norte, and the municipalities within the province, including the audit teams assigned in Siargao Island.

Meanwhile, around 300 strong COA CARAGA workforce assembled in the Regional Office for the inauguration and blessing of the multi-purpose covered court and to take the Integrity Pledge administered by Commissioner Pondoc. Commissioner Pondoc and Assistant Commissioner Castillo led the ribbon-cutting ceremony assisted by Regional Director Diamel and Assistant Regional Director Marisol D. Legaspi.

Commissioner Pondoc explained the underlying reasons for spearheading the Integrity Pledge program, stressing the importance of integrity as doing the right thing at all times even if no one is watching. He reminded COAns that successes come and go but integrity is forever. Atty. Ofelia M. Indino, OIC-Service Chief of the Fraud Audit Services, Region XIII, discussed the salient features of Republic Act (RA) No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials Employees, while Atty. Eirah Z. Radaza-Casals, OIC-Service Chief of the Legal Services discussed the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Auditors as provided in COA Memorandum 2018-007 dated 31 May 2018. # – contributed by Jan Que, Nitz Centino, JP Babad, Ofel Indino; photos taken by Alan Milan and Keith Rabina

Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, Regional Director Usmin P. Diamel, Surigao City Mayor Ernesto Matugas and Provincial Governor Sol F. Matugas lead the inauguration of the new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Surigao del Norte

COA Region XIII personnel take the Integrity Pledge administered by Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc.