The Commission on Higher Education Regional Office 2 (CHED RO2) conducted the culminating activity for the region’s celebration and observance of the 3rd National Higher Education Day and the CHED’s 29th Founding Anniversary on June 1-2, 2023 at Twins Events Hall, Pulsar Hotel Premier Suites, Buntun, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

Directors/Deans/Coordinators of Student Affairs and Services and Members of the respective Drug-Free Committee of Higher Education Institutions in the region, officers of the Pro-active Education and Capacity Building in Higher Education of Region 2 (PrEaCHER-02) against Illegal Drugs, and the Regional Association of Practitioners of Student Affairs and Services (RAPSAS) participated in the activity.

Dubbed “BALAKAD Intervention Program: “HEI Move towards Drug-Free Learning Community”, the two-day endeavor covered the presentation and discussion of the salient provisions of the CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 18, s. 2018 or the “Implementing Guidelines for the Conduct of Drug Testing of Students in all Higher Education Institutions”; facilitate the sharing and crafting of respective institutional policies of HEIs the region in compliance with aforementioned policy; and the review and finalization of the “Beneficial Activities Leading to Awareness and Knowledge Against Drugs” (BALAKAD).

Ably represented by Dr. Almacita P. Abrigo, Chief Education Program Specialist, Atty. Marco Cicero F. Domingo, CHED RO2 OIC-Director IV, in his message conveyed that the Commission recognizes the complementary roles of HEIs from both private and public sectors in curbing the drug problem in the country through preventive education and advocacies. “This activity is a manifestation that HEIs in Region 2 are taking steps towards having a drug-free community”, Atty. Domingo remarked.

The institutionalization of relevant policies on random drug testing for students in all HEIs in the region is in line with the shared mission of ensuring the establishment of a higher education ecosystem that takes into account the safety and welfare of students, and the ultimate goal of attaining a drug-free community.