[Standing from left to right: Dir. Amy Valdez, Regional Director Lynflor Adolfo, Acting Chairperson/Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, Provincial Administrator Michael Vincent Velasco, Supervising Auditor Geronima G. Tan]
“More than a structure, the PSAO [Provincial Satellite Auditing Office] is a very important symbol of independence. It also signifies the concept of interdependence among public offices working hand in hand to achieve national development.”
Thus, said Regional Director Lynflor M. Adolfo in her welcome address during the inauguration of the PSAO building on September 29, 2022, in the capital town of Boac, in the province dubbed as the heart of the Philippines and land of the Moriones – Marinduque.
PSAO Marinduque is the third PSAO building in Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office (RO) No. IV-B (MIMAROPA), after PSAO Palawan in Puerto Princesa City and PSAO Oriental Mindoro in Calapan City.
The inauguration ceremonies began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, led by the Bishop of Boac, Most Reverend Marcelino Antonio M. Maralit, Jr., D.D., which was followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony and thereafter, the blessing of the office and its premises. The ends of the ribbon were held by Moriones soldier statues, an ode to one of Marinduque’s cultural symbols.
COA officials present in the event, together with officials from the Provincial Government of Marinduque, also unveiled the marker of the building and received the ceremonial key from GTJ Construction, the contractor who took over the project until its completion.
The preparations for the construction of PSAO Marinduque began way back in 2017 and construction was started on February 20, 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, challenges in manpower and logistics were experienced by the previous contractor, leading to several time extensions in the construction. These circumstances, though, did not dampen the spirit and determination of the Marinduqueño COAns to finally see the fruition of their efforts – the PSAO Marinduque.
“An official station that the auditors deserve and a place that they can call home, to provide a better working environment to better perform their duties and responsibilities,” said COA Commissioner and Officer-In-Charge – Chairperson Roland C. Pondoc, who led the guests from the COA central office.
“The PSAO is not just a building or edifice but a symbol of public service. We recognize the important role of the Commission to render good service to our people or constituency,” said Marinduque Vice Governor Adeline M. Angeles, one of the local officials who attended the inauguration.
“We cannot thank you enough for allowing us to lease the land,” said Director Amelia P. Valdez of the General Services Office of the COA Administration Sector, addressing her message to the local officials present in the event. The Provincial Government of Marinduque leased the land to the Commission where PSAO Marinduque was constructed, under a usufructuary agreement with an annual fee of only ₱1.00.
“The support of the local government in the construction of the PSAO is important. The PSAO would not be possible without the help from the LGU [local government unit] in allowing the usufruct of the land where it is built,” added former Regional Director Ma. Corazon S. Gomez, who was the head of COA Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) when the construction of PSAO Marinduque was started.
Provincial Administrator Vincent Michael Q. Velasco assured the continuous support of the Provincial Government of Marinduque to the Marinduqueño COAns, stressing the symbolic representation of the PSAO as an intrinsic motivation for the auditors to fulfill COA’s mandate of safeguarding public funds. He also mentioned that the Provincial Government shall also give due consideration to the need of COA for additional space for its planned PSAO Records Building.
In her closing remarks, Supervising Auditor Geronima G. Tan recalled the challenges they faced while the construction of the PSAO was ongoing, as well as their collective determination to complete the furnishings thereof, such as the office desks and chairs, and the beddings for the dormitory. She expressed her deep gratitude to the Commission and the Provincial Government for their whole-hearted support for the construction of PSAO Marinduque.
The inauguration was also attended by representatives from the Office of the Chairperson, Office of Commissioner Mario G. Lipana, and Office of Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc. Also in attendance were Assistant Regional Director Felicidad S. Medrano, the Regional Supervising Auditors, Supervising Auditors, Audit Team Leaders, Service Chiefs, and other personnel of COA RO No. IV-B (MIMAROPA).
PSAO – Marinduque is the 58th completed PSAO of COA, with 10 currently ongoing construction and 16 more to be constructed. Meanwhile, the construction of the fourth PSAO building in the region located in Occidental Mindoro is already in its second phase, while the details of the construction of the proposed PSAO building in Romblon, the fifth and final PSAO for the region, is currently being worked on.
With the establishment of PSAOs all over the country, COA auditors, who were previously stationed within their respective audited agencies, shall now be able to perform their duties without fear nor pressure from the management of their respective auditees. # Report by Ms. Liane Rose R. Velasquez