The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the promotion of performance excellence in higher education institutions (HEIs) through the alignment of the Philippine Quality Award (PQA) Program and the Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA).Recognizing it as a significant milestone in the education system, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez highlighted how aligning the internationally comparable framework of PQA and CHED’s quality assurance program to audit HEI quality systems will further promote a culture of quality and competitiveness among Filipinos and organizations in the country especially in the midst of the pandemic.
“The PQA Program is an integrated approach for performance management that sets the standard of excellence to help our organizations achieve world-class performance. Hence, this partnership between DTI and CHED will help in shaping our Filipino youth to become empowered and economically productive citizen of our country. We not only want to create a mindset of quality in every Filipino, we want to turn the Philippines into a worldwide brand that benchmarks quality and excellence,” Sec. Lopez said.
The DTI Secretary also emphasized that the partnership of the two agencies will increase the capabilities of the country and the university-educated workforce to become globally competitive and respond to the challenges and opportunities in the digital and inter-connected new economy.
Meanwhile, CHED Chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III encouraged HEIs to develop and strengthen their internal quality assurance systems as this will prepare their programs to become adaptable to new challenges in the future. By giving them incentives, Chairman de Vera explained that this will help HEIs appreciate and participate in voluntary assessments and evaluations.
“The ISA is anchored to the core mandates and responsibilities of HEIs which are teaching, research, extension, and production. Since it is voluntary in nature, we observed that HEIs that applied for the ISA process are the same HEIs that appreciate external evaluations, and we see less application from those considered as developing in terms of their organizational approach. By aligning the instruments of ISA and PQA, we are providing a pathway for the HEIs to proceed to the PQA assessment once it has gone through the process ISA,” Chairperson de Vera explained.
Under the signed memorandum of understanding, DTI and CHED shall collaborate in harmonizing or integrating quality management programs to further develop assessment policies, standards, and guidelines. The partnership includes review and promotion of the alignment of PQA Criteria and ISA requirements as well as provision of technical assistance in implementing and improving respective programs.
The ceremonial signing, which was witnessed by DTI Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita M. Aldaba, PhD., Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga, CHED Commissioner Lilian A. De Las Llagas, PhD., and Office of Institutional Quality Assurance and Governance Director Luisa S. Valencia, and attended by different academic institutions, was conducted virtually via Zoom and livestreamed on the official Facebook pages of DTI and PQA Program on October 22, 2020, 1PM.