COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Assistant Commissioners Wilfredo A. Agito and Joseph B. Anacay led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the inauguration of the new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on 25 April 2019.

Meanwhile, the groundbreaking ceremony for the PSAO in Siquijor was held on 26 April 2019 at the Provincial Capitol Area. The PSAO buildings will be the new home of the different local, national, and corporate audit teams assigned in Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with Assistant Commissioners Wilfredo A. Agito and Joseph B. Anacay lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the inauguration of the new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Joining them are COA Regional Satellite Audit Office - Negros Island and Siquijor Director Atty. Chito C. Janaban, Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo and Province of Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo.

Chairperson Aguinaldo emphasized that the PSAO is symbolic of COA’s independence. He stressed the importance of the Commission’s partnership with other agencies, being a part of the entire government machinery with each agency playing their respective roles to deliver the best public service. “The ultimate role of our Philippine government is the promotion of the general welfare of all citizens and inhabitants of the country, to which COA’s role is merely part,” said the Chairperson, as he quoted the notable lines of former Commissioner Sofronio B. Ursal.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo leads the groundbreaking ceremony for the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Siquijor. Joining him are Siquijor Governor Zaldy S. Villa, Assistant Commissioner Wilfredo A. Agito, COA Regional Satellite Audit Office - Negros Island and Siquijor Director Atty. Chito C. Janaban, COA Region VII Director Marilou M. Rizarri and Siquijor Provincial Administrator Pedro C. Samson.

Assistant Commissioner Agito thanked all the partners in the realization of the construction of PSAO as it is one of the goals of the Commission to improve the delivery of audit services by providing the auditors their own office buildings. Likewise, Assistant Commissioner Anacay complimented all those who made the PSAO a reality which the Negros Oriental auditors can call a home.

COA Negros Island and Siquijor Director Atty. Chito C. Janaban expressed his gratefulness to the Commission Proper, COA officials and employees and the LGU and national government officials who played different roles in making the PSAO project a reality.

OIC-Supervising Auditor Lourdes N. Algopera stressed that the realization of the PSAO is a result of the collaboration of various officials and employees. "This beautiful yet imposing edifice will inspire and help us auditors to outdo ourselves in attaining COA’s mission of ensuring accountability for public resources and promoting transparency," she said.

Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo also graced the occasion and expressed their continuing support to the Commission and its endeavors. Officials from the COA Central and Regional Offices and Negros Island auditors and staff also attended the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Chairperson Aguinaldo with Siquijor Governor Zaldy S. Villa led the groundbreaking ceremony for the PSAO in Siquijor which was also attended by officials from the COA Central and Regional Offices, auditors from the Regional Satellite Audit Office - Negros Island and Siquijor and officials from the Provincial Government of Siquijor.

Chairperson Aguinaldo expressed his appreciation for the gratuity given by the Provincial Government of Siquijor which signifies and promotes interdependence among government agencies in nation-building. He reminded the auditors that they are not only watchdogs but also enablers of the auditees in good governance, hence, must support and assist government agencies for them to effectively and efficiently deliver their mandates to their constituents.

On the other hand, Governor Villa acknowledged COA’s role in the rapid development of the Province. He stressed that because of the audit recommendations to improve governance, COA was instrumental in the Province’s passing the assessment for Good Financial Housekeeping and eventually, being awarded the Seal of Good Local Governance in 2014 and 2016. As a result, the Province was given several grants from the national government for various development projects.

COA Region VII Director Marilou M. Rizarri expressed her sincere appreciation to all those who made the groundbreaking ceremony possible, a result of the three years of patience and persistence to make it a reality. She added that PSAO will be the new home of the auditors as they continue to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Commission in the discharge of its constitutionally mandated functions.

The highlight of the groundbreaking ceremony is the burying of the building’s engineering plans and usufruct agreement contained in a time capsule, which formally marked the commencement of the construction. # - contributed by Mesdames Rosario B. Villaluz and Lourdes Algopera