Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Jose A. Fabia ended his term as Commissioner on 2 February 2020 following six successful years spearheading initiatives to enable COA become a more impactful organization.

Commissioner Fabia was appointed to COA on 2 May 2014 and was confirmed in record time by the Commission on Appointments without opposition from its members on 11 June 2014. He is a lawyer, entrepreneur and servant leader who has contributed effectively in the fields of public accountability, communications and healthcare.

The Commission held a celebration to honor the Commissioner held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on 30 January 2020.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia is joined by his staff who presented him with a painting of their hand prints as a gift during his retirement celebration on 30 January 2020.

Recalling the time when he joined COA, Commissioner Fabia said he asked himself how he could gain the trust and respect of his fellow Commissioner, the Chairman, and COA officials and employees. “The only way to gain their respect is by competence, by transparency and by doing your job beyond the call of duty,” he noted.

Commissioner Fabia said he formed a friendship with his fellow Commission Proper members, who he noted are all strong and very intelligent men and women of the Commission. He noted that while they may not always agree with each other, they have the best interests of the country and the Commission in their hearts.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) inaugurated its new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) building in Mambajao, Camiguin on 16 January 2020. COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc and Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo led the unveiling of the marker and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Camiguin Congressman Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo, Mambajao Mayor Yñigo Jesus D. Romualdo, COA Assistant Commissioner Adelina Concepcion L. Ancajas, COA Regional Director Celso L. Vocal, with COA Region X auditors and personnel as well as representatives from the COA Central Office and provincial and municipal officials of Camiguin attended the event. Commissioner Pondoc expressed his gratitude in behalf of the Commission, noting that the gesture of donation of the land was a manifestation of the good relationship between COA and the local government. He said he is optimistic that COA can work in an interdependent relationship with the local government and encouraged COAns is to do their jobs correctly as mandated by the Constitution and uphold ethical standards and values. He also stressed the importance of honesty and integrity.

Governor Romualdo said that the project is part of his family’s legacy in establishing a government center in the province to bring basic services nearer to the constituents. He assured that the local government shall work hand in hand with COA and other government agencies towards achieving good governance.

Reverend Father Bernard Elvin Q. Simene, SSJV led the celebration of the Mass.

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COA Chaiperson Michael G. Aguinaldo join officials and members of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, at the induction program held at Seda Vertis North in Quezon City.

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo encouraged the officials and members of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) Inc. to be resilient in embracing the use of new technologies, trends, design and approaches to keep up with the challenges of modern civil engineering during the induction program on 18 January 2020 held at the Grand Ballroom of Seda Vertis North, Quezon City.

Chairperson Aguinaldo led the induction of newly elected 2020 PICE National Board of Directors while Quezon City Mayor Maria Josefina Tanya “Joy”G. Belmonte-Alimurung led the induction of the Chairs/Members of the 2020 PICE National Committees and Regional Directors.

“It is clearly important to harness and embrace civil engineering’s technologies and breakthroughs to continue to advance the prestige of the profession and be an economic partner in nation building”, Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

“Technology is a precious tool that we should take advantage to keep up with the ever changing landscape of the civil engineering profession and be more effective and efficient with our jobs”, he added.

Chairperson Aguinaldo also commended the dedication of the PICE in continuing to advance and safeguard the civil engineering profession in the country. Civil engineers, according to him, are indispensable partners in nation building and in improving the lives of the Filipinos.

We strongly condemn the killing of Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Guiaria Bagundang Akmad, the Supervising Auditor of Maguindanao Province, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. She was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Cotabato City on Friday, 10 January 2020.

We strongly urge the authorities to act swiftly on the case and conduct an impartial investigation so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice. The nature of the work of our auditors exposes them to risks to their safety but this has not and shall not deter us from doing our Constitutional duty. We ask the public to pray for the family of Auditor Akmad, and for the safety of our auditors and for their steadfast courage and integrity.

The Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. V saved the best before the year 2019 ended as COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc administered the Oath of Commitment to Integrity on 17 December 2019 at the Legazpi City Convention Center.

It coincided with the year-end Gender and Development (GAD) celebration which also featured a seminar on GAD Sensitivity and Awareness with former COA Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo as the resource person.

Commissioner Pondoc stressed the importance of maintaining integrity in the workplace, quoting a few words from Amy Anderson’s article “Success will come and go but Integrity is forever.”

Officials and personnel of COA Regional Office No. V recite the Integrity Pledge administered by COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc on 17 December 2019.

Commissioner Pondoc also took the time to answer the queries, issues and concerns of several regional employees through an open forum.

Regional Director Roland A. Rey, for his part, reminded the Bicolano auditors that reciting the Integrity Pledge further affirms the responsibilities and duties of a COAn, not just as a public servant but as a guardian of government funds.

A Seminar on R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees was conducted by the Civil Service Commission on 16 December.

The event concluded with the signing of the pledge form by the regional officials and employees, to be attached to their personnel files. – Marian J. Paje (Training Specialist I, COA Region V)