Region X officials and personnel take Integrity Pledge

Published: 7 December 2018

Apart from the “Panunumpa ng Watawat ng Pilipinas” at “Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno”, the Integrity Pledge is envisioned to reinforce and remind Commission on Audit (COA) personnel of their sworn duties and responsibilities as government officials. The Integrity Pledge is forefront of the programs of the present Commission Proper composed of Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc.

COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc is with COA Region X Directors Celso L. Vocal and Jerry K. Mero, Region X auditors and personnel during the oath taking of the Integrity Pledge on 28 November 2018.

Some 400 COA Region X personnel led by Regional Director Celso L. Vocal and Assistant Regional Director Jerry K. Mero attended the solemn activity of taking their pledge of integrity before Commissioner Pondoc on 28 November 2018.

The actual taking of the Pledge of Integrity was followed by a ceremonial signing of the Integrity Pledge printed in a large tarpaulin posted on the wall that served as the stage backdrop. Commissioner Pondoc, Directors Vocal and Mero and the supervising auditors and service chiefs led the ceremonial signing.

Commissioner Pondoc emphasized that the Commission Proper is aiming to strengthen the character of integrity within COA and to instill living a life of a good public servant, doing the right thing at the right time. He quoted from Amy Anderson’s article in Forbes, stressing that “success will come and go but integrity is forever,” and from Dr. Hyder Zahed’s article in HuffPost noting that “dishonesty may provide gratification in the moment but it will never last.”

Under the initiative of Directors Vocal and Mero, ATFS Director Myrna B. Ofngol and Supervising Auditors Cecilia A. Pontillas and Edgardo Melendez, COA Region X also showed a short film entitled “Kaligdong” as one of the highlights of the day’s program.

Kaligdong”, which is a Visayan term for Integrity & Credibility, is a film about a government auditor’s life spiced up by the intricacies of audit work. The film was directed by Mr. Adrian Rey Manapil and Ms. Ruby Pearl Manapil and written by Auditor Jennica Rose Madela. The story was inspired by a Supreme Court Decision, docketed GR No. 166967, 166974 and 167167 on a cash examination that disclosed a shortage of P18 million in the year 1998. Several true-to-life auditors’ experiences were collated and integrated to portray the various challenges confronting COA auditors. Through the film, one could learn the weight and responsibilities of becoming a government auditor.

The film starred COAns Mara Andrea Andaya, Sheena Josel Abne, Kaycee Matito, Christian Clapano, Faizal Buctuan, Jenny Ann Minoza, Jennica Madela, Reah Kris Tradio, Albert Lungay, Louis Andrew Akut, John Bryan Revillas, Allen Abellanosa, May Caday, Cloyd Nipales, Ruby Manapil, Jamaal Amerol, and Franz Dobluis. The film was more enlivened with the special participation of Michelle Albinda, Jasmine Caday, Rodulfo Casil III and Lyndie Taneo.

Other parts of the program included discussions on the salient features of the Revised Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and its correlation to the Panunumpa ng mga Kawani ng Gobyerno as well as conduct of role playing activities.

Meanwhile, three COA Region X technical personnel, Engrs. Joseph O. Pagala, Reynaldo N. Monteza and Eduardo Gamolo, were conferred Service Excellence Awards. The awards are in recognition of their exemplary performance as resident engineers of the various COA Region X infrastructure projects that included the construction of the three Provincial Satellite Auditing Offices.

On 29 November 2018, Commissioner Pondoc participated in a forum with the faculty and students of Lourdes College, majority of whom are from the Bachelor of Science and Accountancy department. Meant to bring COA closer to the public through the students, the forum aimed to familiarize the students with the mandate and functions of the Commission if they opt to work with the government. # (JRSMadela and EVLuzon – contributors, photo credits: Mae Cris Largo Catalonia)