Commission on Audit (COA) officials and personnel in Region IX-Zamboanga Peninsula were privileged to have undertaken truly touching and stirring ceremonies for the Integrity Pledge administered by COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc on 13 December 2018. The ceremony was the fourth to be held in Mindanao.

COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc administers the Integrity Pledge to COA Region IX officials and personnel led by Regional Director Visitacion Q. Mendoza and Assistant Regional Director Daphne Grace P. Bellen.

The poignant and moving words and phrases of the Integrity Pledge flashed in a huge LED video wall while being simultaneously recited in unison and followed thereafter by the simultaneous signing of the Pledge, served as the highlight of the activity.

The 336-strong COA Regional Office No. IX workforce, led by Regional Director Visitacion Q. Mendoza and Assistant Regional Director Daphne Grace P. Bellen, committed to observe ethical practices and standards in the discharge of their constitutional functions for the shared objective of good governance.

In his stirring message, Commissioner Pondoc reiterated the serious call for strengthening integrity within COA. He quoted Amy Reese Anderson’s article in Forbes, stressing that “success will come and go but integrity is forever.”

The ceremony was preceded by a revisit of the rules and regulations on personnel conduct, with Atty. David Kong, Chief of the Legal Services Section, discussing the salient features of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) and the Revised Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for COA Officials and Employees (COA Resolution 2018-010).

Other activities were role plays dramatizing the challenges and threats to one’s integrity presented by selected audit groups under the Local Government Sector, the ceremonial oath-taking of 29 new COA employees all hired in 2018, and the audio-visual presentation of the play entitled “Kaligdong” from COA Region 10.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Pondoc participated in a forum with 179 students and faculty from the Accountancy departments of the Ateneo de Zamboaga University, Western Mindanao State University, Universidad de Zamboanga and Southern City Colleges on 14 December 2018. The forum aimed at increasing public awareness about COA and its mandate and to encourage and inspire students to consider having a career with COA.