It is with a mixture of pride, gratitude and hope that I greet the entire Commission on Audit (COA) family as we remember the 121st anniversary of our beloved institution. Since the creation of the Office of the Auditor for the Philippine Islands through a Memorandum signed by then United States President William McKinley on 8 May 1899, the Commission has ensured a healthy measure of prudence in governance through the judicious use of public funds.

It is heartening to be reminded that we are part of an institution that has helped build a strong and independent nation that cares for the welfare of its people. In these challenging times, the Commission has wholeheartedly supported the programs of government in curbing the further spread of COVID-19. We have done our share in helping those vulnerable in this time of calamity, for instance, with the issuance of a joint circular with the Department of Budget and Management allowing contractual workers in government agencies to continue receiving their wages throughout the period of work suspension during the quarantine. We have issued circulars and memoranda providing guidance on matters such as procurement, fund transfers, and donations in order not to unduly hamper government efforts at addressing the current crisis. We have also guaranteed that our workers will get their salaries on time and to augment their resources in this time of need.

I sincerely pray for everyone’s safety and for our renewed focus, once the quarantine is done, to help our nation get back on track.

As we humbly celebrate the Commission’s 121st anniversary in the safety of our homes, I encourage everyone to mark this occasion with grateful hearts and a fresh determination to give our best as guardians of public funds and enablers of government in the efficient and effective delivery of public service for the Filipino people. Let us be thankful for the blessings we have received and continue to receive. And may the Lord hold you safe in the palm of His hand.

I would like to end this message with a few lines from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:

 

“You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.”

 

Stay safe.

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