COA-CAR Celebrates the "Hogop" and Inauguration of New PSAO Building in Ifugao
by: Charibelle Grace D. Licyayo
Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc (front left) and Ifugao Governor Jerry U. Dalipog (front right) cut the ribbon to mark the inauguration of Ifugao PSAO. With them are (back, from left to right) Assistant Commissioner Roland A. Rey, GSO Director Amelia P. Valdez, Atty Carlo D. Sulay representing the Office of former Chairperson Calida, and Atty. Jielsen Dale Babaran representing the Office of Commissioner Lipana, and COA-CAR Regional Director Cecilia G. Ancheta.
September 6, 2022- More than three years after its ground breaking, the new Ifugao Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) was finally completed. COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc, with Ifugao Governor, Hon. Jerry U. Dalipog, led the inauguration of Ifugao PSAO at Rock Quarry, Poblacion North, Lagawe, Ifugao. Key officials from the COA Central Office and COA-CAR Regional Office, as well as Ifugao provincial and municipal local government leaders, participated in the event.
Before the inaugural event, the ritual for the “hogop” was performed by a mumbaki or local shaman. Translated as “first entry,” the “hogop” is done by Ifugaos before a new house is first occupied to check whether or not it is auspicious for the residents to dwell in it; and to ask God and ancestors for their blessings. Chickens and/or a pig is butchered during the ritual and their bile is inspected. A good reading of the bile means that living in the house will bring progress to the residents. The chickens and pig are then shared with the community through a feast.
The inauguration started with Rev. Fr. Pablo Lumiwan offering prayers for the blessing of the building and its premises. It was followed by the unveiling of the PSAO marker by Commissioner Pondoc, Assistant Commissioner Roland A. Rey, Director Amelia P. Valdez, and COA-CAR Regional Director Cecilia G. Ancheta. Commissioner Pondoc and Governor Dalipog then led the ribbon-cutting ceremony signifying the official opening of the PSAO.
During the program, Regional Director Ancheta welcomed and thanked everyone for attending the occasion, especially the officials from the COA Central Office who travelled far to join the celebration. As a gesture of welcome and appreciation, Commissioner Pondoc, Assistant Commissioner Rey, Atty. Carlo D. Sulay, representing the Office of former Chairperson Calida, and Atty. Jielsen Dale Babaran, representing the Office of Commissioner Lipana, were bestowed the raiment of the traditional Ifugao male leader, while Director Valdez and Regional Director Ancheta were clothed in the garments of the traditional Ifugao ladies.
In their speeches, Commissioner Pondoc, Assistant Commissioner Rey, Director Valdez, and Ms. Jacqueline Dulinayan, OIC-Supervising Auditor, expressed their gratitude to the Provincial Government of Ifugao for granting COA the use of the lot. Meanwhile, Ifugao Vice-Governor Glenn D. Prudenciano thanked COA for constructing the PSAO in Lagawe, and said that “This shows that the capital town is improving on structural development with government lands being utilized by government agencies to put up their offices.”
Also in attendance with Governor Dalipog and Vice-Governor Prudenciano were Board Members Joselito Guyguyon, Alberto Binlang Jr., Jordan Gullitiw, Perfecta Dulnuan, and Peter Bunnag; Mayors Lawrence Nalula of Hingyon, Victomar Bunnol of Lamut, and Atty. Lito Baguiwa, representing Mayor Martin Habawel Jr. of Lagawe; and former Governor Pedro G. Mayam-o.
The new PSAO building will serve as the primary workplace of 28 auditors and 2 support staff of COA Ifugao.