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PIA Press Release

3 Ifugao auditors receive award for fighting corruption

by Vency Bulayungan

LAGAWE, Ifugao (2 October) -- Three auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA) here received awards for fighting graft and corruption.

State auditors Florence Paguirigan, the team leader, Juanita Bautista and Lorna Quindo as members were recently awarded by the COA as the Most Outstanding Audit Team of Sub-cluster II-CAR, Central and Northern Luzon, of the Local Government Sector. The awards were bestowed to them by COA Central Office and the Provincial Government of Ifugao for rendering exemplary performance of their regular duties.

Governor Benjamin Cappleman lauded the team for giving honor to the province for their outstanding performance.

In a speech delivered by Paguirigan during the awarding ceremony, she admitted that their mandate of preventing any act of corruption is not easy. "There are many pressures surrounding us because we make decisions that conflict with those made by our local officials and employees which sometimes would result in their misfortune", she said.

"It pains to see people get suspended, dismissed or even go to jail for not doing their duties or for grossly violating existing laws, rules and regulations however we are mandated to perform our duties because if we don't then who will do it?" she said. Paguirigan further said that she believes that as a people, we would all condemn the act of corruption but the concerned parties would take it against them for being instrumental in the filing of cases.

Paguirigan disclosed that despite the lack of manpower and the limited resources, the team faced all the challenges in connection with their work.

Among the notable accomplishments of the said audit team are the exposition of two municipalities here on the controversial purchase of foliar Fertilizers. The expose' became an evidence of corruption of national funds coursed through the Department of Agriculture.

Paguirigan, who refused to name the two municipalities, said that the team found the deliveries of P5M worth of foliar fertilizers lacking, of low quality and 150% overpriced. "We have to do the actual inspection process of counting deliveries and we also re-canvassed the prices," she said.

The team, who was recommended by Regional cluster Director Arlyn Encarnacion, and Cluster Director Leonardo Jamoralyn, was also instrumental in the restitution of P253,958.44 to the coffers of another municipality (names withheld by the interviewee for security purposes) and the filing of Administrative Case for simple misconduct against a Municipal Treasurer. The Treasurer meted the penalty of fine equivalent to three months salary and an accessory penalty of disqualification for promotion for a period twice the number of days she was fined.

According to Paguirigan, the team had also discoveied some anomalies in the past such as overpayment of Representation and Travel allowance (RATA) of some officials and employees and the issuance of demand letters to government employees who have long list of outstanding cash advances.

"There are times when there seems no way but we know that God will always make a way," Paguirigan said. Let us not grow weary in doing good for in due time we shall reap the harvest, if we do not fail she added. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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