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After ten years, Laoag City receives the highest COA audit rating.

CITY OF LAOAG – Officials and employees of the Laoag City government were overjoyed on Wednesday when the Commission on Audit (COA) in Region 1 issued an unmodified opinion on the fairness of its financial statements for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021.

In an interview, city accountant Loelyn Acain remarked, “This honor will serve as an encouragement for us to continue to serve the public with integrity, transparency, and efficiency in our office operations.”

The highest rating granted to a local government unit is an unmodified audit opinion, which covers all of the unit’s key accounts and operations. Its goal is to ensure that financial records and reports are accurate in line with the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards (PPSAS).

According to Acain, the COA’s highest rating on the municipal government’s financial records after a decade would attract greater investment in the city, while people can rest certain that the local government will make every effort to guarantee that all transactions follow the rules set by authorities.

Acain said they set a target and evaluated historical audit reports and results when she was promoted to city accountant in July 2021 to resolve many concerns.

She hopes that her team will continue to put in the effort necessary to maintain the highest COA rating.

Acting budget officer Nelda Casas said the city government used to pay the bank around PHP14 million every three months because of an outstanding loan balance from former mayor Chevylle Farias for the construction of the PHP348 million Laoag City General Hospital and the purchase of PHP100 million in hospital equipment.

The city government, led by re-elected mayor Michael Keon, has already paid off its outstanding loan sum, making the city debt-free as of June.

Meanwhile, one of the positive occurrences of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Keon, is a clean bill from loans.

“Now that we are debt-free, the city of Laoag is in a stronger situation,” he remarked.

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