Over 300 Presidents/Heads and VPAAs from Higher Education Institutions and Officers from Council of Deans/Program Heads and other related organizations converged face-to-face for the 2023 Davao Region Conference of HEIs’ Key Personnel on August 29, 2023 at the Grand Menseng Hotel, Davao City.

The Conference aimed to highlight the landscape of higher education in Davao Region and the achievements of CHED RO XI in the Years 2019 to 2022; to lay down the CHEDRO XI Directions for Davao Region HEIs for the Years 2023 to 2028; to journey as one Region towards international competitiveness through quality assurance; and to celebrate the 56th ASEAN Founding Anniversary.

The event kicked off with an inspirational message delivered live via Zoom by Honorable CHED Commissioner Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag. He reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to supporting the Region’s educational endeavors, with a particular focus on the dynamic arena of Internationalization.

An Audio-Visual Presentation then followed which showcased the dynamic journey of higher education in the Davao Region and highlighted the notable achievements of CHED RO XI during the years 2019 to 2022. The presentation reflected the collective efforts that have contributed to the growth and development of the Region’s higher education landscape.

“These are what HEIs in Davao Region now. This is CHEDRO XI now. We were able to achieve whatever it is because we are blessed with internal and external stakeholders like you, who are supportive, participative and proactive. Thank you everyone for everything and for being our forever partners! We are now ready to take on new challenges. Ready to aim for bigger goals. Ready to get better. Ready for the next chapter!”, said RD Maricar R. Casquejo, CESO III.

Th next chapter referred to by RD Casquejo is CHED RO XI’s Directions for HEIs in Davao Region from 2023 to 2028, which she then presented and discussed thoroughly. RD Casquejo’s presentation provided insights into the road map for advancing the quality of education in the Region, cascaded from the CHED Strategic Plans for 2023-2028.

“With these directions, we hope that you will fit what we have presented to your existing directions. For those who are still to craft their directions, please consider these inputs, the soonest time.”, RD Casquejo said at the end of her presentation.

A panel of reactors comprising representatives from various types of HEIs shared their perspectives on the direction set forth by CHEDRO XI: Prof. Vicente Antonio V. Pijano, III, Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao, represented the private HEIs; Dr. Roy G. Ponce, President of Davao Oriental State University, represented the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs); and Dr. Rodrigo C. Licayan Jr., President of Kapalong College of Agriculture, Sciences and Technology, represented the Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs).

An Open Forum shortly followed where participants freely asked questions and clarifications on various issues and concerns and were responded by RD Casquejo and other CHEDRO XI Officials.

The second part of the Conference focused on the journey towards international competitiveness through quality assurance. Various topics were covered, including the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) presented by Dr. Cherrie Melanie Diego of CHED OPSD; the Philippine Quality Awards (PQA) by Dr. Reynaldo Castro of the University of Mindanao; ASEAN University Network – Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) by Dr. Jo-ann Solomon of the University of the Immaculate Conception; and QS World University Rankings by the Ateneo de Davao University.

The Conference also featured an open forum titled “Usapang Quality Assurance with the Champions,” providing attendees with an opportunity to engage with the speakers and experts and sharing of best practices.

The third part of the conference was the awarding of partner HEIs, student-developers, and faculty-advisers in various Automation Projects. This recognition highlighted the innovation and collaborative efforts between HEIs and CHEDRO XI in automating the processes and services of CHEDRO XI.

Additionally, the winner of the 1st Davao Region ASEAN Photo Wall Contest was announced, showcasing the creative talents of the students and faculty members. Jose Maria College Foundation, Inc. was declared as the First Placer.