• COA chief bows out

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    Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan bowed out of office on Monday after more than three years of leading the government’s auditing agency.

    “I told you then that I accepted the position only because of my conviction that it was God’s will for me, and not for power, fame and riches. It was true then and it still is now. Hence, I leave without any regret or attachment, only joy and fulfillment,” she said in her valedictory speech.

    Tan enumerated COA’s successes during her term, including the “relentless and bold” auditing of public funds and how they were spent.

    “Pinutol natin ang kultura ng political patronage, pakikisama at utang na loob for self-aggrandizement. Sinabi ko sa inyo na magtiwala kayo sa sarili niyong kakayahan at kwalipikasyon, hindi sa mga endorsement ng mga pulitiko o mga boss. Pinanindigan ko ‘yon sa kabila ng hirap sa sarili kong katayuan. Ngayon, hindi ba kayo mas masaya at katuring-turing na mga tunay na professionals, dahil wala na kayong kailangang pagkautangan ng loob na dati ay pinagkakagastusan pa [We cut off the culture of political patronage, going with the music and false sense of gratitude. I told you to believe in your own abilities and qualifications, not in endorsements of politicians and bosses. I stood for those principles despite the difficult situation that I was in. Now are you not more happy and rating yourselves as true professionals, because we don’t owe anybody anything, particularly those who were even costing the government]?” she said.

    Tan was appointed COA chief in 2011. She served the remaining four years of the seven-year term of her predecessor, Reynaldo Villar.

    It was during her term that the audit body released a special audit report on the use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or lawmakers’ pork barrel.

    “I think that we are in the process of consolidating the findings on PDAF as well as on the DAP [Disbursement Acceleration Program],” Tan earlier said.

    With her retirement, she said she can now do domestic chores.

    “I will clean the house, help take care of my grandchild, I will do gardening again, you know, those things,” she added.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd is yet to announce Tan’s replacement.

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