“Ang taong hindi marunong lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa kanyang pinaroroonan.”
Thus, said Regional Director (RD) Lynflor M. Adolfo, during the opening ceremony of the COA 123rd founding anniversary in this Region on May 4, 2022, quoting the popular translation of a George Santayana dictum, which relates to the theme of this year’s anniversary celebration, “Looking back, moving forward.”
“The theme of the COA anniversary celebration reflects on the evolution of the Commission over the years in its avowed duty of protecting public funds and government properties,” RD Adolfo said.
“Through the years, the auditors did very well in performing their duties and responsibilities resulting in individual and institutional achievements as well as moral victories, and have never wavered nor cowered in the face of serious challenges,” she said.
“In retrospect, we need to enjoy our gains and just look back at our pains and heartaches – no need to linger in the past as experiences must serve as inspiration and motivation for us to become a better person, a better COAn, and a better Filipino, as we are all created by God to level up, not to deteriorate,” she added.
RD Adolfo also urged COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) personnel to take a much-needed break from their busy schedule to just enjoy the 123rd COA anniversary celebration, the first face-to-face COA anniversary celebration in the new normal.
During the closing program on May 6, 2022, Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Felicidad S. Medrano said that much has changed for the Commission since its establishment on May 8, 1899.
She said that more than the changes in the name of the Commission, the scope of the work has also expanded greatly.
“The scope of our work here in the Commission has certainly expanded from what it used to be in the past. From a simple office, the General Auditing Office, it is now a Supreme Audit Institution,” said ARD Medrano.
COA started as the Office of the Auditor for the Philippine Islands and evolved as the Bureau of the Insular Auditor, the Bureau of Audits, the General Auditing Office, and in 1973, it was finally named the Commission on Audit, and later identified in the international audit as the Supreme Audit Institution in the Philippines.
As the Commission repeatedly changed its name since its establishment, so is the evolution of the scope of work, expanding from the mere audit of tax collections in the past to Financial Audit, Compliance Audit, Performance Audit, Fraud Audit, and Special Audits on levy, rate, and subsidy in the present. In the fulfillment of its mandate, COA has also embraced international auditing standards, adopted innovative practices, and has already utilized technology in its audit.
In terms of COA’s role in national development, ARD Medrano said that the Commission has transitioned from being “watchdogs” to “fault-finders” and finally now known as enabling partners of the government in ensuring a better life for the Filipinos.
“Despite the changes in COA over the years, we are expected to keep our fidelity to the government auditing standards, as the Filipino people seek greater transparency and accountability,” she said.
“Moving forward, we are also tasked to be vigilant. We have been tasked to guard the lifeblood of the nation and keep the hopes of the Filipinos alive, so we need to keep their faith – that we will keep watch so that their aspirations for our Republic will not be spilled or wasted,” said added.
The 123rd COA anniversary celebration was formally opened on May 2, 2022 in a face-to-face/virtual program in the Central Office, which was attended by all COA personnel nationwide. In COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), the anniversary celebration was opened on May 4, 2022 with the celebration of Holy Mass presided by Fr. Art Arnaiz, CICM.
As part of the anniversary celebration, virtual competitions were held from May 2 to 6, 2022, with teams composed of COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) personnel from the Regional Office (RO)/Metro Manila (MM), Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan, competing against each other in the Logo Making Contest, Virtual Chess Competition, and Virtual Quiz Bee. The Selfie Scavenger Hunt was participated only by personnel from the RO/MM as the game could not be conducted virtually, with the venue specifically in the Central Office,
As a highlight of the COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) anniversary celebration, the Region’s MOVE [Men Opposed to Violence against Women and Children Everywhere] Chapter held its Bloodletting Activity on May 4, 2022, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross – Quezon City Chapter. The activity, which was spearheaded by the Region’s MOVE Chapter President Atty. Reginald M. Arceo, was participated by personnel from COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) and COA Region IV-A (CALABARZON).
Also highlighted in the celebration were inspiring short documentaries on the impact of COA in the lives of the following featured COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) personnel:
- Regional Office (RO)/Metro Manila (MM)
Dir. Leodivina A. De Leon
Ms. Lucila A. Magpantay
Atty. Reginald M. Arceo
- Occidental Mindoro
Ms. Ma. Etheliada A. Vizconde
Ms. Krizzan Jade P. Paguio
- Oriental Mindoro
Mr. Cromwell Y. Lorico
Ms. Roana May B. Calonge
Ms. Flora R. Axalan
Ms. Bernadette B. Jambalos
Ms. Edna L. Mayangitan
Ms. Concepcion M. Caldit
Ms. Victoriano A. Acosta
Ms. Maria Fatima T. Plagata
Ms. Mark Jerome P. Cabugayan
Here is the list of personnel honored for their remarkable achievements as well as the winners in the competed events:
- 2020/2021 Bar Examinations Passers
Atty. Kristine S. Cayetano – Exemplary Passer
Atty. Mark G. Rodriguez
Atty. Jose Braulio B. Sison
Atty. Mae Ann D. Cadavos
Atty. Vanessa Gem P. Cazeñas
Atty. Pristine Aira D. Pili-Vinluan
Mr. Wilfredo P. Japlit, former Regional Supervising Auditor (RSA)
Ms. Myrna M. Lambojon, former Audit Team Leader
- Loyalty Award – 40 years of service in COA
Ms. Jocelyn B. Ante
Ms. Virginia M. Miñano
Ms. Grace D. Reyes
- Logo Making Contest
1st Place Palawan
2nd Place RO/MM
3rd Place Oriental Mindoro
- Virtual Chess Competition
A. Men’s Category
1st Place Mr. Miguel Antonio A. Diaz – RO/MM
2nd Place Mr. Mart Jofrey G. Fontarum – Marinduque
3rd Place Mr. John Kevin A. Magdalaga – Palawan
B. Women’s Category
1st Place Ms. Liane Rose R. Velasquez – RO/MM
2nd Place Ms. Raisa Laica F. Ferrer – Marinduque
3rd Place Ms. Ann Merogel D. Dacoycoy – Oriental Mindoro
- Virtual Quiz Bee
1st Place Occidental Mindoro Ms. Rosalie C. Soriano
Ms. Margarette S. Lineses
Mr. Reynaldo Q. Dela Torre, Jr.
2nd Place Marinduque Ms. Kristina Joy V. Rabanillo
Mr. Bernard Anthony M. Navarro
Ms. Mary Angelique N. Mingi
Oriental Mindoro Mr. Marvin P. San Juan
Mr. Jayson R. Repizo
Mr. Joseph Allan Mark I. Pajila
3rd Place RO/MM Mr. Rey Owen R. Triño,
Ms. Eunesse Mari R. Reynon
Mr. Russel C. Castañeto
- Groupie Scavenger Hunt
1st Place Green Team/MM Ms. Imelda S. Encarnado
Ms. Aurora V. Cayetano
Atty. Mae Ann D. Cadavos
Ms. Abby Joy R. Tigno
Ms. Jocelyn B. Ante
Ms. Micah Loiuse Z. Tegio
2nd Place Orange Team/Legal Services & Fraud Audit Services
Mr. Roel R. Mendoza
Atty. Francis Kayvin B. Escobar
Mr. Justin Thomas A. Fellone
Atty. Julie L. Aranda-Martinez
Ms. April D. Castillo
3rd Place Yellow Team/Office of the RSA
Mr. Marcial C. Cornito
Ms. Jamie Diane C. Percano
Ms. Dorina A. Pizarra
Mr. Joseph Emmanuel D. Tenorio
Ms. Emmargel B. Bernardino-Alcantara
# With reports from Mr. Al Adrian G. Dazo and Ms. Dessie Dhia C. Carido