COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was guest speaker during the induction ceremony for the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers 2020 National Officers and Directors held on 18 January 2020 at Seda Vertis North Hotel in Quezon City.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and AMA University Chairman Dr. Amable R. Aguiluz V sign a Memorandum of Agreement for the provision of scholarship programs to employees of the Commission on 20 January 2020.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc with COA Officials during the Strategic Planning held at the Professional Development Center on 11 February 2020.
Former Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, Director Fortunata M. Rubico and Director Jonathan B. Beltran join resource persons from the Climate Change Commission during the Gender and Climate Change Orientation for the Commission on Audit on 3 to 4 March 2020.
Dr. Reynaldo O. Samson, from the Philippine National Police, discusses National Security, Local Security and Company Physical Security during the Symposium on Public Safety and Personal Security on 2 March 2020 at PIDS Auditorium.
Participants of the Advance Performance Audit Course held at the Professional Development Center on 10 February 2020.
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc with Calamba Representative Joaquin M. Chipeco, Jr., Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco and COA Regional Office IV-A Director Mario G. Lipana lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office in Calamba, Laguna on 11 February 2020.
Ensuring transparency and accountability without creating a bottleneck in the government’s response to the current pandemic is one of the challenges discussed in the webinar on the “Role of the COA in the Philippine Government’s Response to COVID-19: Emergency and Post-Emergency Phases” conducted by the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. IX on 9 July 2020. The webinar was also broadcasted on Facebook Live.
COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc was the resource person at the webinar which was attended by 344 participants from COA Regional Office No. IX led by Director Visitacion Q. Mendoza.
“There will be adjustments in our normal audit practices and I hope we will be able to identify the important points that we need to consider to continue our functions and roles as employees of COA,” Commissioner Pondoc said. “We need to transition through unique challenges to ensure continued transparency and accountability without becoming a bottleneck,” he added.
Commissioner Pondoc noted some key principles during the emergency stage including prioritizing safety of people, frontliners, audit and auditee staff; taking advantage of digital audit technology to continue audit operations remotely; securing audit trails on COVID-19 through monitoring, documenting and analyzing government responses; and maintaining effective communication with key stakeholders, among others.
For the post-emergency stage, Commissioner Pondoc suggested using professional judgment to contextualize conclusions to the COVID-19 emergency and developing approaches for expenditures from blended funding sources, among other principles. Considerations in the post-emergency stage also include government high-priority programs in terms of materiality and risks such as social ameliorations, stimulus package and distribution of medical and food supplies and challenges such as missing audit trails, limited access to data and onsite physical verification and alternate procedures or solutions.
The Commissioner also observed audit of procurement should align with actions taken during the COVID 19 emergency, noting that the risk of fraud is always present but is elevated during emergency cases. He also emphasized the need for coordination with accountability agencies.
Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc of the Commission on Audit (COA) joined Fiscal Year 2020-2021 National President Mr. Lope L. Bato, Jr. along with the new officers and National Board of Directors in the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) virtual turn-over and induction ceremony last 3 July 2020.
Taking his oath of office together with the other officers, Commissioner Pondoc is now PICPA's new Vice President - Government Sector and Senior Director - Southern Mindanao Region. The Honorable Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles served as the inducting officer for this event.
Other key officers of PICPA are Ms. Marydith C, Miguel, Executive Vice President; Ms. Gladeys Jill A. Santos-Cua, VP for Operations; Atty. Rheneir P. Mora, VP for Commerce & Industry; Ms. Milagros C. Cardona, VP for Education; Mr. Michael C. Gallego, VP for Public Practice; Ms. Estelita C. Aguirre, Executive Director; Ms. Anna Lissa C. Dycaico, Secretary; and Ms. Ma. Teresita Z. Dimaculangan, Treasurer. All the members of the national board, presidential advisers, board of trustees of PICPA Foundation, committee chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and members, regional sectoral representatives, and chapter presidents were likewise inducted.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Pondoc also had the honor of introducing President Rodrigo R. Duterte as one of the Keynote Speakers during the virtual ceremony.
"Maayong hapon sa atong tanan. Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I have the high privilege and distinct honor of introducing to you our keynote speaker this afternoon. The President of the Republic of the Philippines, Mayor-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte," Commissioner Pondoc proudly declared.
In his speech, President Duterte wished the organization and the officers a meaningful event and took the opportunity to commend the CPAs for their critical role in accelerating the country's economic growth.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its gratitude to the Commission on Audit (COA) and its Chairperson, Atty. Michael G. Aguinaldo, for extending the relaxation of its auditing rule to expedite the release of the funds for the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program - Emergency Subsidy Program (SAP-EAP) to aid those greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its press statement posted on their website last 30 May 2020, the DSWD thanked the Commission for granting the agency’s request to extend the relaxing of the rule under COA Circular No. 2016-002 requiring a “Certification by the Accountant that the funds previously transferred to the Implementing Agency has been liquidated and accounted for in the books, as a prerequisite to the succeeding release of funds” specific to the DSWD’s request and for the duration of the present crisis.
The DSWD specifically asked to relax the rule requiring the submission of liquidation reports by the implementing agency prior to the subsequent transfer of funds in order for the DSWD to proceed with the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP-EAP to eligible beneficiaries.
“Nagpapasalamat ang DSWD sa sambayanang Pilipino, sa inyong pagtitiwala sa lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan na nakikipaglaban para sa kabutihan ng bawat pamilya sa panahon ng pandemiyong COVID-19,” the DSWD said of the COA.
The Commission allowed the DSWD to rely on a signed Sangguniang Barangay Resolution or a Barangay Council Resolution attesting that the identified beneficiaries are eligible and qualified under DSWD-DOLE-DTI-DA-DOF-DBM-DILG JMC No. 1 and DSWD MC No. 09-2020 in lieu of the liquidation report.
However, all Local Chief Executives must submit their duly accomplished completed full liquidation reports within three months from the lifting of the declaration of the State of Calamity. COA also said that the actual transfer of funds to the local government units and disbursements shall be subject to regular post audit The Commission also reminded the DSWD to submit the reports required by oversight agencies, including the budget and financial accountability reports to the Department of Budget and Management and to the COA.