The Commission on Higher Education Regional Office 2 (CHED RO2) conducted the Gender and Development (GAD) First Quarter Meeting with the theme “Empowering Ecosystems: Fostering Safe Spaces, Accountability, and Continuous Progress” on February 2, 2024, at the GO Hotels Plus, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

CHED’s Executive Director, Atty. Cinderella Filipina S. Benitez-Jaro, officials and personnel of CHED RO2, led by OIC-Director IV Atty. Marco Cicero F. Domingo, and the executives and representatives of public and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the region attended the meeting.

With the Commission’s commitment to the creation of HEIs that serve as refuge for enriched intellectual growth and emotional well-being, the meeting underscored the critical role of fostering safe spaces, ensuring accountability, and embracing continuous progress in paving the way for a brighter and equitable future for higher education.

Atty. Domingo and Atty. Jaro, in their respective messages, emphasized that HEIs must not only be for academic excellence, but sanctuaries that harbors safe spaces and is characterized by accountability. “Our educational institutions should not only be for intellectual growth, but sanctuaries of safe spaces that help students reach their full potential, and a community that contributes to the creation of a society that values and respects differences,” Atty. Domingo said. “The journey towards an empowered educational ecosystem does not end with creating safe spaces for true empowerment requires accountability at every level to ensure that the trust bestowed to institutions of higher learning is not misplaced.”

Atty. Jaro conveyed that safety transcends physical security as it encompasses emotional and psychological well-being, and requires a deliberate commitment to inclusivity and diversity. “Our vision is to nurture a generation that not only excels academically, but is also emotionally intelligent, socially conscious and equipped to navigate the complexities of an ever-evolving growth,” Atty. Jaro said.

The meeting highlighted the presentation of the Higher Education Association of Region Two (HEEART), and the Beneficial Activities Leading to Awareness and Knowledge Against illegal Drugs (BALAKAD) program.

Moreover, learning sessions that covered the responsibility of HEIs in the implementation of RA 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act, and reorientation on the salient points of CHED Memorandum Order No. 3, s. 2024 relating to the Committee on Decorum and Investigation, which were thoroughly discussed by Atty. Mari-Grace L. Cumagun, Attorney V of the Civil Service Commission Regional Office 2, were conducted.

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