As CHED RO XI continues its momentum in realizing the objectives of CMO No. 1, S. 2015 or the “Establishing the Policies and Guidelines on Gender and Development (GAD) in the Commission on Higher Education and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs),” and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG No. 5, which aimed to “achieve gender quality and empower all women and girls,” or simply on “Gender Equality,” the 2023 Regional GAD Summit was conducted on December 12, 2023, at Adelina Hotel and Suites, Mati City, Davao Oriental, in partnership and collaboration with the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), Davao del Norte State College (DNSC), Davao Del Sur State College (DSSC), Davao De Oro State College (DDOSC), Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) and Davao Oriental State University (DORSU) as the host university.

The Summit, with the theme, “Beyond Mainstreaming of Gender and Development in Region XI’s Higher Education Institutions,” highlighted panel discussions with Dr. Roy G. Ponce, DORSU President; Dr. Leorisyl D. Siarot, Supervising Education Program Specialist, Deped Mati Division; and Ms. Rizza Jean R. Rivera, Supervising Administrative Officer, Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital, on GAD implementation in Davao Region.

Distinguished plenary speakers graced the activity: Plenary 1- Gender in Higher Education by Dr. Randy A. Tudy, Deputy Director, Mindanao e-learning Space (MiSpace), University of Southeastern Philippines; Plenary 2 – Gender in Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources (AANR) by Dr. Glory Dee E. Romo, Project Leader, PCAARRD Gender Project, UP Mindanao; Plenary 3 – Gender in Halal Industry by Dr. Eliseo F. Huesca, Vice President for Research, Extension, and Production, DNSC; Plenary 4 – Gender in Mental Health by Dr. Orencita Aireen V. Lozada, GAD Focal Person, San Pedro College; and Plenary 5 – The Future of Gender by Dr. Roy G. Ponce, DORSU President. CHED RO XI Education Supervisor II Dr. Liza C. Suan delivered the Opening Remarks on behalf of Regional Director Maricar R. Casquejo.

The shift from mainstreaming to transformative practices in gender and development within HEIs signifies a commitment to creating lasting change. As these initiatives gain traction, institutions need to foster collaboration, share best practices, and continuously evaluate their efforts. By going beyond mainstreaming, HEIs can become catalysts for societal transformation, equipping students to challenge gender norms and contribute to a more equitable and inclusive world.