The CHED International Affairs Service, specifically for the International Relations Officers (IROs) of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Central Luzon recently organized a Regional Orientation on the Assessment of Legitimacy of Foreign Travel. Held in Sorsogon City from March 18–21, 2024, the event aimed to empower International Relations Officers (IROs) with the necessary tools to evaluate the authenticity of international engagements and the necessity of foreign travel, aligning with Executive Order No. 77.

Joseph T. Gonzales, Board Secretary V and ASCOT Director for International, External, and Alumni Affairs, represented ASCOT at the said event.

The first day commenced with a with a welcome from Atty. Septon A. Dela Cruz, CHED Region V’s Regional Director, followed by the discussion of the event’s objectives by Atty. Lily Freida M. Milla, Director of CHED International Affairs Service.

Dr. Beatriz S. Belonias, Vice President for Academic Affairs of Visayas State University, shared insights into their university’s internationalization initiatives, emphasizing practices such as faculty exchange, academic partnerships, and student mobility.

The discussion then delved into Executive Order No. 77, facilitated by Atty. Lynn Danao-Moreno, an Assistant Executive Secretary from the Office of the President, focusing on the regulations governing foreign travels of government personnel, particularly those from SUCs.

Dr. Gaudencio Petalcorin, Jr., Vice-Chancellor of Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, provided valuable perspectives on research practices, including insights on publication in SCOPUS-indexed journals and the significance of affiliations in research endeavors.

The second day of the orientation featured Prof. Johnrev B. Guilaran, an Associate Professor from UP Visayas, who highlighted methods to identify and avoid predatory international conferences and journals, equipping attendees with the necessary tools to discern legitimate platforms for academic engagement.

Mr. Renz Giorgio G. Tibigar from CHED-IAS discussed the Guidelines and Process Flow for Assessing the Legitimacy of Official Foreign Travel, offering invaluable guidance to participants, including the unveiling of the revised IAS Form No. 7.

Beyond the enriching sessions, attendees were treated to a tour of Sorsogon City and its environs, courtesy of the Sorsogon State University’s IRO, providing a joyful experience of the locale’s cultural and academic landscape.

The Regional Orientation served as an important platform for ASCOT and other stakeholders to gain crucial insights and tools in assessing the legitimacy of foreign travel—an essential aspect in ensuring accountable and effective utilization of resources within the academic sphere.