The Commission on Audit (COA) broke ground its future home in the province of Guimaras on June 26, 2019.
Commission on Audit Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo graced the occasion along with COA Region 6 Director Chona P. Labrague, Governor Samuel T. Gumarin, Vice Governor John Edward G. Gando, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Cyril Beltran and other COA employees.
Aguinaldo said the establishment of the COA’s Public Satellite Audit Office (PSAO) in the province is a symbol of independence.
“Ang PSAO kasi symbolic ‘yan ng independence. Kasi ‘yung COA, being a constitutional body is independent. So, having your own building and your own place is a physical independence from our auditees,” Aguinaldo said.
Nonetheless, the COA chief reiterated the importance of cooperation among government agencies to accomplish its goal of providing better services to the public.
“But while we maintain our independence both physically and perhaps in the way we do our work, we should always remember the concept of interdependence. It’s only when these agencies work together that they can actually accomplish things for the common good,” he added.
The occasion is a manifestation of the generosity of the Provincial Government of Guimaras (PGG), according to Director Labrague and the realization of their dream to have their own office in Guimaras.
She underlined that this infrastructure is a symbol of the partnership between the Commission on Audit and PGG towards upholding efficient and effective government service.
“It’s a memorable occasion for us, especially in COA Regional Office 6. This is a very significant occasion manifesting the generosity and joint efforts of both the officials of the Provincial Government of Guimaras and the Commission on Audit. Let this memorable event serve as a symbol of the bond between COA and the Province of Guimaras as partners towards upholding efficient and effective government service all for the common good of the public,” Labrague said.
The Deed of Usufruct for the lot was also signed between the Provincial Government of Guimaras and the COA to seal the donation of the 1,000 square meters of lot where the COA building will soon rise.
Gumarin welcomes the creation of the COA satellite office in the island as a safeguard for the officials and employees of PGG against committing a violation in utilizing the resources of the government.
The local chief executive reiterates that the success of local government units depends on the proper use of its resources.
“With COA, I am safe because I want to graduate as governor na wala akong may nalustay na pera ng bayan. I want to graduate na malinis ang pangalan. The success of the local government units depends on how to use its money properly,” according to Gumarin.
Further, he believes that the presence of a COA office in the province will provide guidance to the PGG especially to the barangays on how to employ their funds.
This is in sync according to Gumarin, to the vision of Guimaras to become a one stop shop for government transactions with the national agencies having its satellite offices in the island.
“It is our vision na hopefully hindi na kami pupunta sa Iloilo. With all those struggles noon ng Guimarasnons, hopefully with all these national government offices inside the Capitol premises, magiging one stop shop kami in the future,” he added.
Gando considers this as an opportunity for the officials and employees of the Provincial Government of Guimaras to prevent any wrongdoings.
He added that the Commission on Audit should not be feared, instead it should be considered as a partner in nation-building.
“It is really an opportunity for the Province of Guimaras to have this COA building standing on its own. Before we commit mistakes, we must be given also the opportunity to confer and to verify. We will always consider COA as our partner in nation building. We will always consider COA as our friends,” Gando explained.