TO strengthen its Internal Audit Group’s (IAG) value in corporate governance, risk management and controls, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently developed an Internal Audit Manual to serve as definitive guide for its internal auditors.
PhilHealth is the first government agency in the country to have a Manual that adopted the 2016 Philippine Internal Auditing Framework for the Public Sector and Philippine Internal Control Framework for the Public Sector issued through COA Resolution 2016-016, and the updated 2017 International Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
The Manual is a collaborative effort of PhilHealth’s IAG and the Commission on Audit – Systems Consultancy Services Office (COA-SCSO). It will guide PhilHealth’s internal auditors in the performance of their core work.
According to Dr. Celestina Ma. Jude P. de la Serna, PhilHealth Interim/OIC, President and CEO, the Manual is aimed at “...standardizing and harmonizing internal audit activities across IAG offices, and strengthening IAG’s authority over promotion of effective governance, risk management and internal controls within the organization.” She added that the guidebook “...integrates the internal audit policies, procedures and practices that are consistent with accepted standards of internal auditing.”
Internal auditing is an independent function designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations through evaluation of the effectiveness of risk management, controls and governance processes.
The first phase of the PhilHealth-COA Initiative saw the assessment of the Internal Control Systems (ICS) in the Head Office and in eight (8) of the 17 PhilHealth Regional Offices. The assessment included the administration of Internal Control Checklists (ICC) to ascertain the identified risks and the internal controls, and the results served as bases in determining the audit areas for three (3) years as reflected in the Internal Audit Strategic Plan. PhilHealth is the first government agency to conduct an assessment of its internal control systems in all of its functions and processes.
PhilHealth started writing the Manual in September 2017 and the PhilHealth Board of Directors approved its implementation in January 2018. (END) (Servillano G. Medina)
(Reference: Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, Head Executive Assistant and Concurrent OIC-Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group, Cel No. 0917-8089399)