Officials of the Commission on Audit (COA) welcome civil society delegates of the Integrity Watch Afghanistan during a learning visit in the country from 25 to 27 June 2018. They discussed the design and implementation of the COA’s Citizen Participatory Audit program.
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo receives a certificate of appreciation from the Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA) after the plenary session held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City on 21-22 June 2018. ACIIA was represented by (from left) ACIIA Public Sector Forum for Internal Auditors Chairperson Helen T. de Guzman, Association of Government Internal Auditors President Josie Jane C. Ablir and Institute of Internal Auditors - Philippines Chairman and President Joseph Ian M. Canlas.
(From left to right) Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, 7th district of Cavite Congressman Abraham N. Tolentino, COA Regional Office IV-A Director Mario G. Lipana, and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region IV-A Director Samson L. Hebra during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the COA International Training Center in Tagaytay City on 21 June 2018.
COA participants at the Technical Evaluation of Infrastructure Project workshop after their successful training held at the Professional and Institutional Development Sector on 20 June 2018.
International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board Chairperson Ian Carruthers (far right) accepts a token from Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc while COA Assistant Commissioner for the Government Accountancy Sector Lourdes M. Castillo and Board of Accountancy Chairperson Joel L. Tan-Torres look on during the forum on public sector accounting and financial reporting held on 31 May 2018 at the COA Professional Development Center Auditorium.
(From left to right) Royal Audit Authority (RAA) of Bhutan Assistant Auditor General Dorji Wangchuk, Ms. Sharon C. Contarciego, Ms. Ma. Theresa S. Alfanza, RAA Bhutan Senior Dzongkha Coordinator Namgay Lhendup, RAA Bhutan Senior Audit Officer Tashi Lhamo, COA Assistant Commissioner Luz L. Tolentino, RAA Bhutan Deputy Auditor General Prem Mani Pradhan, RAA Bhutan Program Officer Kangchen Karma, Ms. Arlexandria Louise F. Cariño of the Office of the COA Commissioner, RAA Bhutan Assistant Auditor General Kencho Dorji, and RAA Bhutan Program Officer Sangay Tenzin during RAA officials’ study visit on 30 May 2018.
Commission on Audit (COA) officials welcome students from the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance during their study visit on 22 May 2018
Ms. Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, Chief of Party, Integrity for Investments Initiative, Philippines, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), receives a certificate of appreciation from the Commission on Audit presented by COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc during the close-out ceremony for USAID’s Integrity for Investments Initiative (i3)
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo signs the Internal Auditing Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (IASPPS) with Philippine Application Guidelines (PAG) and Internal Control Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (ICSPPS) during the launch of the Standards at the Commission on Audit on 12 April 2018. Witnesses to the signing are COA Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc and officials of the Association of Government Internal Auditors and Institute of Internal Auditors – Philippines.
Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza assured the public that no current member of the Commission Proper (CP) was involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
“I can with confidence say that whoever that Commissioner who Atty. Baligod claims to be included in the PDAF scam, he is no longer with the current member of the Commissioner Proper,” Commissioner Mendoza said.
Commissioner Mendoza pointed out that the current members of the CP were recently appointed and could not have been involved in the pork barrel scam from the period 2007-2009. Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was appointed in March 2015, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia in May 2014 and she herself in April 2011.
In response to earlier allegations that four auditors were involved in the PDAF scam, Commissioner Mendoza said the COA is open to any investigation against its auditors but the proper information and evidence should be shown owing to the sensitive nature of COA’s work and in fairness to the other 8, 237 employees of the Commission..
“Gusto po natin ibigay ng assurance ang publiko na patuloy na makakaasa sa buong tapat at buong pusong paglilingkod ng buong COA,” Commissioner Mendoza emphasized.
COA is currently undergoing fact-finding investigation against 70 or more auditors on the PDAF while three administrative cases have already been filed.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with COA Regional Office No. XIII officials and employees during his first visit to the regional office on July 8, 2015.
Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo visited COA Regional Office No. XIII, Butuan City on July 8, 2015 to grace two significant events: the signing of the deed of donation for the 2,000 square meter lot donated by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and family for the construction of the Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) in Surigao del Norte and the inauguration of the newly constructed PSAO building in Agusan del Sur.
COA CARAGA is the first regional office visited by the Honorable Chairperson after he got the nod from the Commission on Appointments. In her welcome remarks, OIC Regional Director Vivien G. Jumao-as said that “COA is blessed” for having received the “grace” in the person of former COA Chairperson Ma. Gracia M. Pulido Tan and now has the “gift” referring to present COA Chairperson Aguinaldo.
Chairperson Aguinaldo’s visit to COA-CARAGA was indeed a “gift” considering that it is a rare opportunity to be visited by the highest official of the Commission. COA CARAGA personnel returned the compliment by giving the Chairperson such a warm welcome. “Thank you for your support and prayers in my recent confirmation,” Chairperson Aguinaldo heartily said.
Chairperson Aguinaldo and Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas formally signed the deed of donation which was witnessed by COA regional officials and employees. The lot is located in Barangay Trinidad (formerly Luna), Surigao City. Afterwards, Chairperson Aguinaldo with COA RO XIII officials and some employees proceeded to the Government Center in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur to inaugurate and witness the blessing of the newly constructed PSAO.
COA Chairperson Aguinaldo and Director Vivien G. Jumao-as, during the ribbon cutting ceremony held at Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO), Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on July 8, 2015.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed criminal charges against the 12 Commission on Audit (COA) auditors in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) releases through the National Agri-Business Corporation (NABCOR) and Technology Resource Center (TRC) that went to questionable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) between 2007 to 2009.
In a 62-page Resolution signed last June 22, 2015, Ombudsman Morales dismissed the complaints and all criminal charges against State Auditors Jerry A. Calayan, and Sylvia P. Montes (retired) who were assigned at the TRC, as well as State Auditors Annie L. Recabo, Rebecca B. Aquino, Diana E. Casado, Bella G. Tesorero, Susan D. Guardian, Elizabeth M. Savella, Merle M. Valentin, Aida S. Villania, Laarni Lyn E. Torres, and Herminia SD. Aquino (retired) who were assigned at NABCOR.
The Ombudsman found no sufficient evidence to hold respondents either administratively or criminally liable. “There is no probable cause to prosecute the COA officials. The evidence do not suggest that respondent-auditors conspired with their co-respondents in the misuse of former Representative of 2nd District, South Cotabato Arthur Y. Pingoy’s PDAF,” the Ombudsman said.
“On Calayan’s part, there was no showing that he was negligent in the conduct of his audit. In his 2007 audit findings, he revealed that PSDFI [Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc.] was one of the 28 NGOs which did not submit its corporate papers. He likewise indicated that two releases of Pingoy’s PDAF in 2007 for P10M and P5M remain unliquidated,” the Ombudsman said.
As for Montes, “she was able to satisfactorily show that she did not participate in the audit of TRC’s transactions. A perusal of her list of tasks to different government agencies from 2007 up to the time of her retirement does not indicate that she was assigned as Supervising Auditor of TRC at any given time.”
The Ombudsman ruled that COA auditors assigned at NABCOR did not appear to have conspired with their co-respondents in the misappropriation or misuse of Pingoy’s PDAF nor found to have been negligent in the performance of their duties.
“Said auditors were able to refute complainants’ allegation of negligence as the records show that the audit of NABCOR’s operation for 2008 was conducted only on September to December 2009. As for the 2009 transactions of NABCOR, their audit started only in October 2010. It was further shown at that time in the course of their audit, 20 audit observation, and 13 Audit Observation Memos (AOMs) were issued by them for 2007, 54 AOMs for 2008, and 13 AOMs for 2009, all of which have been included in the Annual Audit Report,” the Ombudsman said.