COA losing its auditors
MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) is losing a number of auditors.
This came out during the budget hearing at the Senate where COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza told senators that there are more of those retiring from the agency than those who are applying.
Since January of this year, Mendoza said about 338 auditors have retired while only 137 have been newly recruited.
"Given the volume of work, marami sa mga auditors pinipili na mag-retire," Mendoza said during the hearing.
"We are aggressively recruiting. So far, satisfying naman ang quality ng mga recruits, but in terms of number hindi sufficient."
Senate Finance Committee Chair Francis Escudero noted that there about 6,000 vacant positions in COA. He said, however, it’s not a question of additional funding but an issue of fewer accountants applying for the job at COA.
In fact, the agency has over P2.1 billion employment fund that is left unused because of vacancies, he said.
"Panawagan ito sa mga bago at magagaling na accountant na sana mag apply kayo," Escudero said.
COA is asking for P9 billion for 2014. This includes the funding for the construction of ten new regional offices worth P20 million each.
Mendoza said the auditors need to be transferred to a private offices separate from the departments and government units they are auditing to maintain their independence and objectivity in scrutinizing public funds.
The Senate finance committee has yet to formally approve the proposed allocations. Deliberations were reset to another date to give way to other senators who would wish to pose questions.