In a momentous gathering at the Center for Culture and Arts (CCA) in Sulu State College, the inauguration of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Institutional Development and Innovation Grants (IDIG) Program was held on Mar. 6, 2024, at 1:00 PM.

The event marked a transformative chapter for higher education in the region where esteemed educators, researchers, and stakeholders joined forces to embark on a journey that promises to reshape the academic landscape.

The ceremony commenced with a moment of reverence, featuring an invocation, the national anthem, the SSC hymn, and the articulation of the SSC quality policy. College President, Prof. Charisma S. Ututalum, CESE, welcomed the audience, setting the tone for an afternoon brimming with inspiration and academic promise.

Dr. Mary Sylvette T. Gunigundo, OIC-Director IV of CHEd Office Planning, Research, and Knowledge Management, took center stage to deliver a comprehensive presentation on the Philippine higher education landscape. Dr. Gunigundo provided a detailed overview of the country’s current academic performance and outlined ambitious goals for 2040 under the banner of “Ambisyon Natin 2040.” This vision aspires to secure a resilient, prosperous, and secure life for all Filipinos by 2040.

Ms. Jamie Joyce Sese, Project Technical Staff III at CHED Office of Planning, Research, and Knowledge Management (OPKRM), shared insights into the Grants-in-Aid (GIA) Program for Research and Extension. Ms. Sese highlighted several GIA research projects, including an inventory of flora in Mount Sinaka, Arakan, North Cotabato, and initiatives focusing on farming methods and health assessments of farmers in North Cotabato. This demonstrated a commitment to addressing real-world challenges through innovative research.

Mr. Anfernee P. Ruanto, in his CHED IDIG presentation, delved into the intricacies of grant policy review, project overview, MOA review, monitoring, and evaluation processes. His expertise provided attendees with a deeper understanding of the critical components shaping the success of the IDIG initiative.

The Dean of Agriculture, Malikha J. Ilupa, Lic. Agri., and Project Leader, presented the objectives and goals of the new IDIG project. Dean Ilupa shared valuable experiences from the implementation of the projects, underscoring the practical impact of academic initiatives on the community.

The ceremony concluded with the awarding of certificates to the guest speakers, recognizing their significant contributions to the academic community. A photo opportunity captured the camaraderie and shared commitment to advancing education and research.

Among the distinguished attendees were Research Director, Frissida A. Daud, RN, Man, Ph.D.; Extension Director, Asst. Prof. Sherha B. Baybayan RN, PhD; and faculty members from various departments. Their presence highlighted the collaborative spirit and shared dedication to shaping a brighter future for education in Jolo, Sulu.

The CHED IDIG inauguration stands as a beacon of hope and progress, heralding a new era for academic advancement in the region.