Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo together with other guest speakers during the Public Accounting Summit Against Corruption held at the Diamond Hotel, Manila on 09 December 2019.
Former Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, now a gender and development (GAD) consultant of COA, and Director Fortunata M. Rubico, Chairperson of the COA GAD Focal Point System, join officials of the Philippine Commission on Women and delegates from Thailand’s Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development and Budget Bureau during a study visit on gender responsive budgeting in the Philippines on 16 October 2019.
International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) Chair Ian Carruthers (center) with IPSASB representatives Ross Smith and David Watkins join COA officials and auditors after the Forum on International Public Sector Accounting Standards Updates on 10 October 2019.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc with other COA Officials receive the Bronze award for the GADtimpala 2018 conferred by the Philippine Commission on Women on 14 August 2019. The award recognizes COA’s significant contributions to gender equality and women empowerment especially in ensuring the judicious use of gender and development funds.
COA Officials and employees with the participants of the 11th Meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Committee on Knowledge Sharing & Knowledge Service (KSC) held at Clark, Pampanga from 12-14 June 2019.
Officials of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines confer on COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo the degree of Doctor in Public Administration, honoris causa, on 23 April 2019.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo leads COA officials and employees during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Batangas Provincial Satellite Auditing Office on 23 April 2019.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was the Guest of Honor at the 4th Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard Logistics Systems Command on 23 April 2019.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo is conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Chairman of the Board of Regents, Dr. Benjamin I. Espiritu, and University President, Dr. Ma. Leonora V. De Jesus, during the university’s 51st Commencement Exercise held at the Philippine International Convention Center on 27 March 2019.
The Philippines ranked tenth (10th) out of 117 countries for budget transparency according to results of the 2019 Open Budget Survey (OBS) conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). The country garnered a score of 76 in the area of budget transparency.
The country also scored high in audit oversight with 89 points. Audit oversight together with legislative oversight form one of the areas assessed by the OBS.
The IBP said the OBS is the world’s only independent and comparative measure of fiscal transparency, public participation, and oversight at the central government level. The OBS evaluates three areas: public access to relevant information on key budget documents, public participation in the budget process, and assurance of budget oversight by independent legislatures and audit institutions.
Commission on Audit (COA) auditors Mae Diane M. Azores and Myra M. Baranda of COA Regional Office No. V topped the 2019 Bar Examinations. Azores ranked first with a score of 91.0490% and Baranda was third with a score of 88.8250%. Both are from the University of Sto. Tomas-Legazpi (formerly Aquinas University) and are Certified Public Accountants.
Azores is a State Auditing Examiner II and an audit team member of CAAP Area Center 5, Corporate Government Sector (CGS), Cluster 4, COA Regional Office No. V. Meanwhile, Baranda has been with the Commission for the last five years and is assigned at the Daraga City auditing unit.
“My warmest congratulations to Attys. Azores and Baranda and all the Bar passers from the Commission on Audit. As you enjoy the fruit of your hard work, I encourage you to uphold justice especially for those who have less in life and live with integrity and professionalism. You have made all of us in the COA family proud,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
In an interview with DZMM, Azores said she prepared for the examinations by waking up daily at 4 am and studying for more than ten hours. "No dream is ever big, especially po sa provincial schools. We can always dream bigger. Kung iisipin talaga natin, kung kaya talaga, kaya talaga siya. Tiwala lang sa Diyos. Dasal lang talaga," Azores said in another interview with ABS-CBN News.
Baranda, for her part, said in an interview with Rappler that she wanted to remain as an auditor for the people and that she owed a lot to COA for letting her stay in Albay which allowed her to go to law school. “Ang gusto ko sa pagiging state auditor, yung interaction sa tao, naririnig mo yung hinaing nila, ever time na nag-thank you sila, fulfilling sa ‘yo na nakatulong ka in a small way,” Baranda said to Rappler.
According to the Supreme Court, there were 2,103 successful examinees out of the 7,685 who completed the Bar exams.
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.
Strive to be happy.”