The Davao Association of Catholic Schools convened its Regional Assembly last July 25, 2022 under the theme: Pilgrims of Hope: Moving Forward in Synodality – adopted from the National Convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in October 2022. DACS is the arm of CEAP in the Davao Region. It was the first in-person gathering of the association since the start pandemic in 2020.

Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, SC, the current DACS President and CEAP Regional Trustee, presided over the annual business meeting, a requirement of the Securities and Exchange Commission for registered corporations. In his report, Br. Deloria described the deleterious effects of the global COVID19 pandemic and the unprecedented changes on the educational system, on Catholic schools in particular.

The President’s report highlighted the programs and activities pursued by DACS In the midst of the pandemic. Noteworthy among these was the launching of the 60th Foundation of DACS for February 2023. To mark this milestone, the DACS anthem was composed. The DACS-CEAP XI Strategic Roadmap for 2022-2025 was also formulated and adopted by the General Assembly.

In a virtual message to the Assembly, S. Ma. Marissa R. Viri, RVM, CEAP President stressed the call of Pope Francis towards synodality – to journey with the Church in a spirit of hope. Catholic schools too are called to be pilgrims, journeying with one another and with those they minister to. This calls for supportive presence, a listening ear, an open mind, a prayerful heart, and being a pilgrim soul. This pilgrimage is a journey of hope. She reiterated the call of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines inviting everyone to become a welcoming, humble and inclusive Church in the Philippines.

During the conference, members were also nominated and subsequently elected by the Trustees to different positions in the Board. The Board of Trustees for 2022-2023 are the following:

For the Archdiocese of Davao,

BR. NOELVIC H. DELORIA, SC   – PRESIDENT / CEAP XI Trustee

President, Holy Cross of Davao College

FR. JOEL E. TABORA, SJ

President, Ateneo de Davao University

SR. AIDA T. FRENCILLO, OP – VICE-PRESIDENT

President, San Pedro College

FR. RUSSELL A.  BANTILES, PHD

Superintendent, Archdiocese of Davao

For the Diocese of Digos,

BR. ELLAKIM P. SOSMEÑA, SC   – AUDITOR                            

President, Cor Jesu College

SR. ZOSIMA A. ESCOLANO, PM

Directress, Holy Cross of Malita

SR. ELIZABETH L. GARROTE, PM

Director, St. Michael’s School of Padada

FR. JUAN D. MACALISANG, STL, PHD

Superintendent, Diocese of Digos

For the Diocese of Tagum,

FR. EMERSON B. DELOS REYES – CORPORATE SECRETARY

President, Maryknoll College of Panabo

FR. TOMAS P. AVILA, JR., PHD

Rector / President, Queen of Apostles Seminary

FR. LARRY JAY P. LANTANO, CSCH

Director, Letran de Davao of Tagum

FR. ARNULFO A. TIPLACA

Superintendent, Diocese of Tagum

For the Diocese of Mati,

FR. ANTONIO O. NOMBREFIA, OSA

Director, Colegio San Agustin-Mati, Inc

FR. JAY B. RAMOS

Superintendent, Diocese of Mati

And the for the Representative of Congregational Schools

SR. LORNA B. MURILLO, PM –   TREASURER

President, St. Peter’s College of Toril

The Assembly also approved the new DACS Strategic Roadmap for 2022 to 2025. This also include the adoption of the new vision and mission statement. The new DACS vision statement reads thus: DACS-CEAP XI is a communion of Catholic educational institutions, in the local Churches of Davao, Digos, Tagum, and Mati centered in the Person of Jesus Christ.

The Strategic Roadmap points to five (5) major goals, namely, a. strengthen Catholic identity, b. champion transformative education, c. intensify community engagement d. advocate for Justice and Peace, Ecological Integrity, Engaged Citizenship, Poverty Reduction, Gender and Development and Youth Empowerment (JEEPGY) and e. foster financial viability.

The ramifications of the Department of Education order No. 34 series of 2022 mandating the return to face-to-face classes by November 2, 2022 were also discussed among other matters in the agenda. The Assembly manifested support to the goals of the government on this regard but advocated a more flexible stance in the implementation of blended or online learning as a more effective transition strategy for education in the country.

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