President Rodrigo R. Duterte has recently reappointed Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag, CHRP, RMT, RN as Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for another term expiring on July 21, 2024.
Darilag continues to serve the Commission by progressively leading the advancement of a wide array of relevant and timely disciplines in higher education. This is exemplified through his work as the Oversight Commissioner for Teacher Education, Gender & Development, Extension Programs for State Universities and Colleges, and the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (SEAMEO Biotrop); and as a Champion for Futures Thinking and Cultural Education. Darilag is grounded in his beliefs that progressive advancements in higher education can be achieved by holistically supporting higher education institutions to be of service to faculty and students – by reflecting on previous policies and experiences; by collaborating with agencies both public and private, local and international; and by having a more refined foresight to prepare students – regardless of ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and religion – for the world of tomorrow.
Included in his notable achievements in the time of COVID-19 pandemic are spearheading the Eastern Visayas Higher Education Institutions – Flexible Learning Management Systems Consortium in Region VIII, leading the Working on Resilience and Innovation for Teaching Excellence in Region XI, and organizing a region-wide flexible learning initiatives and consortium programs of the 170 higher education institutions of Region V in partnership with the Bicol Foundation for Higher Education. Through his remarkable leadership, these consortia help in leading the redefinition of higher education in the new normal. In addition to his work in flexible learning, Darilag is also a human rights and gender rights advocate. He leads in the institutionalization of gender-transformative practices, such as envisioning the revitalized Gender Resource Centers for the Regional Offices of CHED and encourages the SUC Presidents in the realizing gender-sensitive infrastructures as well as the creation of gender-responsive mechanisms that will address Gender & Development Issues and Concerns of Higher Education system.
Darilag also leads the promotion of cultural education in higher education – a step necessary to ensure the respectful preservation of Philippine culture and the arts for succeeding generations. This includes developing cultural offices in various universities, including Culture-Based Education in higher education curricula, and supporting universities to document best practices through updated multimedia forms. His support for the arts is also celebrated through his work as an Accredited Faculty of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), handling the Philippine Cultural Education Program, Graduate Diploma in Cultural Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching Arts.
Darilag is also a widely published and passionate researcher. He co-authored some of the publications of notable Malariologists and Protozoologists in UP Manila, in collaboration with Gunma School of Medicine in Japan. The published researches include “Clinical and Laboratory Correlates of Cerebral Malaria in the Philippines” published in the Transaction of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; “Application of Seroepidemiology in the Evaluation in a Community-based Malaria Control Program in Palawan, the Philippines” published in the Japanese Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene; “Management of Severe Malaria in Asian Countries”, published in the Clinical Parasitology Journal; “Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar: detection by polymerase chain reaction in a low prevalence region in the Philippines” and “A prospective study of complicated malaria in the Philippines”, published in the Parasitology International Journals. He recounts that his research in the fields of Biotechnology, Parasitology and Public Health has been greatly inspired by his former boss and mentor in UP College of Public Health, Dr. Pilarita Tongol-Rivera.
Prior to his appointment as CHED Commissioner, Darilag has served the higher education landscape in various capacities – as Director for Human Resource Management Services of De La Salle Philippines; as Head of the HR Commission of the Lasallian School Network; as Vice President for Academic Services at St. Paul University Surigao; as Dean of the Graduate School of St. Paul University Manila; as Vice President for Research, Planning, and Extension Services of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina; as Associate Professorial Lecturer at De La Salle University Manila-Br. Andrew Gonzales College of Education, as Adjunct Faculty of various Private Higher Education Institutions.
Darilag finished his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Management, has earned PhD units in Science Education, major in Biology, and finished his Master of Education, major in School Leadership at the De La Salle University – Manila. He also has a Master’s Degree in Medical Technology at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). He is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), a Registered Medical Technologist (RMT) and a Registered Nurse (RN).
On top of all these academic pursuits and behind all these noteworthy accomplishments, Darilag maintains his primary role in life as a devoted family man and a loving husband to his wife, Maricel. He managed to preserve the good quality of his household and the virtuous upbringing of his two kids.
Darilag will be continuing his advocacies related to raising the consciousness of the Filipino people on the rapid and exponential changes brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; enhancing the implementation of Transnational Education as an effective tool of adapting into the globalized world; supporting the achievement of an efficient, responsive and relevant Teacher Education; and ensuring the realization of a culture-based education as one of the core objectives in the Philippine Higher Education System.
“We welcome with utmost joy the reappointment of CHED Commissioner Darilag. His track record in serving as Commissioner during his first term serves as a testament to his integrity, professionalism, and humility which we at the Commission are grateful to continue working with,” De Vera said.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education