COA Regional Office No. 5 celebrated remotely its 122nd COA Anniversary as the government’s audit institution upholding its vision and mission to serve the Filipino people amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.
The online celebration with the theme, “Resilience and Innovation in the New Normal” was held on May 3-7, 2021. The event was kick-started by a holy eucharistic mass that was presided by Rev. Fr. Francis Benaya, Parochial Vicar of St. Padre Pio Parish, Rawis, Legazpi City. This was attended by the personnel of COA Regional Office No. 5 and was broadcasted live via Zoom teleconferencing and Facebook.
In his homily, Fr. Benaya emphasized that the word “Pasasalamat” came from the three words pasa, sala and lamat. These words may appear negative, but if we are connected with the Lord, the pasa, sala and lamat are opportunities for our growth. He also said that despite the many challenges and problems that we, in the Commission, have encountered, we shall not lose hope because these pasa, sala and lamat are the times that the Lord is trying to bring out the fruits and the giftedness in us. And if there’s hope, there’s always life.
Indeed, we will surpass all challenges if we are connected with the one and only great auditor, which is GOD. Fr. Benaya ended his homily by praying that COAns may become the good auditors like God to see the goodness in others, the hope in everyone of us, the life that is inside in us, and that we may be instruments of peace as we continue to serve the Commission and the people of GOD.
After a few-minute break, Ms. Margie O. Orpiada, Senior Technical Audit Specialist, Technical Services started the opening ceremony through a doxology, followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and the COA Hymn. Instead of the traditional roll call by province, the COAns waived via Zoom as their respective provinces were called.
Regional Director Joel S. Estolatan, in his opening message said that for him, this celebration is worth celebrating because this is a milestone for us, being COAns. The theme, “Resilience and Innovation in the New Normal,” is very fitting to all of us COAns because for the past years and for this year, we continue showing our resilience in performing our mandate and functions as the supreme audit institution.
His message highlighted COA’s unwavering determination to fulfill its vision and mission despite this pandemic. He also said that these uncertain times also provide us opportunities to recreate ourselves as an institution. Despite the fact that we are in a life-threatening environment, we continue to work in order to perform our responsibilities. We are not discouraged to serve the public. And that’s how resilient we are. We also innovate in order to perform our critical role in the government. We quickly adapt and adjust in order to ensure continuity in our services. “Embrace it without hesitation, but with full determination,” he added.
For his parting words, he thanked everyone in COA RO5 for performing the responsibilities and keeping on demonstrating the resilient character of COAns and embracing innovation on order for us to build a more effective and responsive Commission on Audit. He also thanked the Commission Proper and the senior officials for their unending support to COAns, and to the region especially in this time that we are facing a very challenging phase in the government service.