The Commission on Audit (COA) inaugurated its new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) Building in Brgy. Guinlajon, Sorsogon City on 27 November 2020. Sorsogon Provincial Governor Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region V Director Virgilio C. Eduarte COA Assistant Commissioner Roland A. Rey, and COA Region V Director Joel S. Estolatan, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of the marker. The blessing of the PSAO building by Rev. Fr. Cyben Laurence S. Vitug of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary, Sorsogon City followed. COA Region V officials and auditors from the province of Sorsogon graced the event.

COA Assistant Commissioner Roland A. Rey and Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Sorsogon. Assisting them are COA Region V Director Joel S. Estolatan and DPWH Region V Director Virgilio C. Eduarte

The construction of PSAOs throughout the country is a priority program of the Commission to provide auditors in the field, especially in the provinces, a home base. The COA PSAO Building in Sorsogon was conceptualized in 2018 and made possible thru the concerted efforts of Governor Chiz Escudero and the DPWH as implementing agency.

Due to travel restrictions brought by the pandemic, COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc were not able to grace the occasion but they made sure that their well wishes were relayed through their video messages.

Chairperson Aguinaldo said that it is indeed a memorable event as this is the first PSAO that was inaugurated since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our country. He also expressed his sincerest gratitude to the local government of Sorsogon for working with the Commission to make the construction of the PSAO possible. He added that the building symbolizes not only independence of COA enabling auditors to perform their functions and responsibilities as objectively as possible but also a recognition of the value of interdependence among government agencies.

Commissioner Pondoc also thanked the Provincial Governor, noting the good relationship between COA and the local government unit in the province. He also expressed gratitude to the DPWH Region V for the deed of usufruct for the land provided to COA.

Assistant Commissioner Roland A. Rey said that the PSAO Building in Sorsogon is very unique in that it was the fastest constructed PSAO and among the biggest PSAO buildings nationwide. He sincerely thanked the Governor and encouraged all auditors to show appreciation by taking good care of the structure and to perform well in order to deliver what is expected from them.

COA Region V Director Joel S. Estolatan, in his opening remarks, said that the PSAO is a clear demonstration of the Commission’s drive in providing auditors with a better working environment. Moreover, he said that the PSAO is not just a mere structure but a testament of the Commission’s thrust to be an independent and well-respected audit institution. With this, the Regional Director challenged all local auditors to continue being committed and hardworking public servants and strive harder to be partners of government agencies in promoting good governance.

Governor Chiz Escudero, in his message, shared that the project was part of his developmental plan in the Province to provide better offices to government agencies because it is his simple belief that a nice, clean and tidy workplace shall be reciprocated with orderly, efficient and better work outputs. He also emphasized the provincial government’s programs in providing efficient and effective government services to its constituents through ISO trainings, among others, which may also ease and assist the Commission’s work in the future.

On the other hand, DPWH Region V Director Virgilio C. Eduarte congratulated the Commission and assured that they will continue to work hand in hand and support COA in its endeavors.

As a graceful end to the program, Supervising Auditor Johanson V. Disuanco expressed his gratitude to the Commission, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon and the DPWH, for all their joint efforts which made the completion of PSAO Sorsogon possible. # – article contributed by State Auditor Janice E. Endaya; edited by the Public Information Office