The Commission on Audit (COA) puts emphasis on resilience and innovation in adapting to the challenges brought by the pandemic as it marks its 122nd anniversary on 8 May 2021. With the theme “Resilience and Innovation in the New Normal,” the Commission sustains quality audit performance amidst the disruptions caused by the pandemic through leveraging the use of various technologies and changes in processes and systems.

“We have tapped the use of different technologies to adapt to the pandemic situation as we transition to the new norm and to effectively and efficiently do our audit work,” Observed COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo. The Chairperson cited innovative programs such as the Machine Intelligence, Knowledge-based Audit and Experience Learning or MIKA-EL which is an envisioned artificial intelligence that provides for electronic submission of documents and assists auditors in early detection of fraud through analysis of collected digital data, and the COA Order of Execution Management Information System which is an automated system that strengthens the enforcement and monitoring of decisions on audit disallowances and charges.

“We continue to bravely face the ‘new normal’ in the performance of our mandated duties. While we continue with our work, bear in mind the circumstances of the pandemic we are in, where perhaps not all rules we apply in normal times can be applied in this ‘abnormal’ period, and where matters of substance should trump rigidities, and where observations should not lead to absurdities,” the Chairperson added. He also expressed his sympathy “for those of us who have suffered and lost loved ones” and gratitude “for those of us who continued to help and support our fellow COAns emotionally, spiritually, and financially.”

Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, for his part, noted the Commission’s continuous delivery of efficient public service. “The effects of the global pandemic opened doors for re-evaluation and reconstruction of certain tasks and services delivered by the Commission, adapting to the ‘new normal’ with primary consideration for enabling the efficient performance of audit work while ensuring our personnel’s and the public’s safety and well-being,“ Commissioner Pondoc said. “Our productivity may have gone down expectedly when the pandemic first hit but we have successfully adjusted and found ways to use information and communication technologies and changes in work processes to our advantage personally and professionally,” he added.

Activities are to be held virtually online following the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila. One of the highlights of the celebration is the “COA Salutes the Best” program to honor COA officials, personnel and retiree who performed outstanding audit work, and have shown exemplary conduct, integrity and loyalty. The program is scheduled on 6 May 2020.

There will also be webinars on topics such as PhilHealth benefits with emphasis on COVID-19 packages; delivery of online services provided by various local and national government agencies such as the eServices of the City Governments of Quezon, Pasay and Makati as well as those of the Government Service Insurance System and Home Mutual Development Fund; and What to Do when COVID Hits Home to be conducted by Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim, Chief, Infectious and Tropical Disease in Pediatrics at the Philippine General Hospital, among the activities for the week-long festivities.

Happy 122nd anniversary COAns and keep safe!