Student’s death, family seeks probe

Every time nga na makakakita ako ng naka-tarpaulin [ng] naka-sablay, nalulungkot ako eh. Hindi ko na makikita anak ko’ng ganon,said Orlan T. Salera, father of deceased College of Veterinary Medicine student, Uriel Fabella Salera.

Nagso-solo ‘yan, nag-iisang anak, nag-iisang pamangkin, nag-iisang apo, lahat ng pangarap namin naka-angkla sa kanya,” Mr. Salera described further in an interview with the UPLB Perspective. Uriel, 18-year-old sophomore, died of cardio-respiratory arrest on the early morning of Saturday, August 20.

Thoughtful and loving

Mr. Salera depicts Uriel as respectful, thoughtful, loving, affectionate, and a kid with a good sense of humor. Uriel is known to his family as someone who stands against abuse, especially against women.

He also recalled that road trips with his son serve as their bonding activity. “Yun ‘yung panahon na nakakapag-usap kami ng medyo masinsinan, nag-re-range ‘yan from politics, science, to philosophy to religion.” Mr. Salera works in Lipa City, Batangas, and only gets to bond with his son on weekends.

Dr. Leila T. Salera, pathologist and Uriel’s aunt, shared with the UPLB Perspective his nephew’s profound love for his grandmother. “Mahal na mahal niya yung lola niya, ‘Awayin mo na lahat huwag lang lola ko.’”

“As a friend, sobrang genuine,” Eliza Yana Malapaya, a batch 15 VetMed student and a friend of Uriel said in a separate interview. She then added, “Lagi siyang nandyan pag kailangan mo sya, masayahin. Mahilig mangumusta.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.17.34 PM

Photo from Dr. Salera’s video tribute to Uriel

How the day transpired

According to Dr. Salera, on the night of Thursday, August 18, Uriel asked for permission to go to the campus early Friday morning, August 19, for a scheduled jogging. “Ayaw siyang paalisin ng lola niya kasi sobrang aga ng alis, sabi sa kanya, mga 4:15 umalis,” she said.

UPRC King Rancher Aliana Cotejo confirmed to the UPLB Perspective that their applicants were scheduled for training on that early Friday morning.

They scheduled the jogging at 5am. It is part of the applicants’ training process. Halos lahat sila ay nagsasabing pagod na sila kaya naging walking na lang sila ng isang ikot sa Freedom Park,” said Cotejo. She said that the only medical concerns laid to them by Uriel were his mild scoliosis and dust allergy.

Given the nature of the organization, practicing the Rodeo sport, a strenuous physical activity, Cotejo admitted that there are no medical professionals assisting in the duration of the process.

Two of Uriel’s friends confirmed that he had difficulty walking after the jogging activity.

Malapaya recalled, “Last conversation namin ay nung Friday ng 7am, umaga. Pumasok sya na pa-ika-ika ang lakad. Na-sprain daw sya habang nagjo-jogging. Nagkwento tungkol sa jogging at kung gaano kasakit ang ankle niya.”

Malapaya stated that Thursday, August 11 was the start of the process, however Uriel had his interview with the organization on Tuesday, August 16. This is because he was staying in his home in Calamba, and cannot stay late in the campus.

She then added that on Thursday, August 18, Uriel asked for permission if he could stay in La Ville to rest after the jogging the following day.

Meanwhile, a friend who spoke to the UPLB Perspective under the condition of anonymity, recalled: “Around 8:30 pm, kita across yung Goldilocks, hirap sya [Uriel] maglakad pasakay ng jeep.”

Death

The aunt narrated, “Nung umuwi sya nung Friday ng gabi, ang kinomplain lang niya is masakit yung likod niya. Nagtanong siya nandyan pa yung parang electric massager ko, nung pumunta sa kwarto. Kasi sabi nya okay na sya. Tapos nung bago sila natulog nagbibiruan pa sila and then that night, narinig ko na lang…

“Gasp. Malakas,” the father continued.

On late Friday night, before the clock struck 12, Uriel’s relatives heard two gasps.

According to the family, Uriel was unconscious and unresponsive. At around quarter to 12, his aunt facilitated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for around 10 minutes. Uriel was later rushed to the hospital but still was not resuscitated.

Dr. Salera recalled telling Uriel that if a person is being revived for more than 10 minutes, that person’s health would already have been compromised.Yun na lang iniisip ko kaya sumama na rin siya. Hangang doon thoughtful pa rin si Urie.”

(Read: CVM stude dies of heart failure)

According to the death certificate read by the family to the UPLB Perspective, Uriel died due to cardiorespiratory arrest. Furthermore, Mr. Salera said that he decided not to call for an autopsy so as to honor the body of his son.

Uriel’s wake lasted for three days at St. Peter Chapel and his body was laid to rest on August 24.

The Rodeo Club learned of Salera’s death at around 8am, August 20, Saturday. Minessage at tinawagan namin ang family; first na nakausap namin ay ‘yung father. Somehow, we are good terms with the family. Since grieving, di namin sila masisisi.”

Because of the incident, the organization laid the application process on-hold. May mga hindi na kayang magprocess kasi may mga members na ‘di na kaya makapagpa-report. Kapag kaya na [lang ulit] naming mag-process, kapag ‘di na affected ang members at ang batchmates niya.”

20160829_163206

‘Indescribable sorrow’

 Namamatay [si Uriel], nandito sa [hita ko], kalong kalong ko. Napaka-indescribable ‘yung sorrow na mararamdaman mo. ‘Yung anak mo naroon sa ganto mo na nakikita mong namamatay, pero wala kang magawa,” Mr. Salera recalled.

Tapos lahat ng nalalaman ko bilang doktor nabalewala nung nawala yung pamangkin ko,” Dr. Salera added.

Admitting the family is still in grief, the father said, “Medyo masakit para sa akin – hindi, talagang napakasakit na, napakabata pa inagaw sa akin.”

 

Wake up call

Dr. Salera has doubts on what really transpired that Friday morning.

“‘Yung sinabi niya sa akin kagabihan eh jogging’. So ang tingin ko, jogging. Magja-jogging lang kayo somewhere. Tapos nung gabi na nung nalaman ko na meron pa palang push up na ginawa. Tapos eto naririnig ko yung mga balita na sa oval pinatakbo sila so parang hindi yata jogging yung ginawa ng pamangkin ko kasi pinatakbo ka ng isang oras,” she said firmly.

UPRC’s Cotejo denied that there was a push-up activity on that Friday morning.

The family recognizes that while it is possible that the organization involved has no direct relation to the death of Uriel, the activities that transpired on Friday morning might have been contributory to the sudden departure of the 18 year-old.

“Kung hindi sila ang direktang naging cause, pwedeng naka-contribute sila. Maging aware lang sila, aware whatever happens sa mga future initiates nila, maging careful,” Dr. Salera said.

Sino ba ang nawalan? Bigyan man lang nila kami ng kahit kaunting closure at courtesy,” Uriel’s aunt added.

Mr. Salera shared his sentiments, saying, “Hindi maiaalis sakin na nanggigigil ako sa kanila [UPRC]. Pero in retrospect, gawa nga ng anak ko rin ang gustong sumali saka sila naman ay socio-civic organization, nauunawaan ko na rin.”

The father lamented the young age of the members of the organization who attended the wake of his son. He also pointed out the lack of supervision during that particular activity.

“Ang problema ko lang talaga ayun siguro kung merong supervision, baka naiwasan. Baka. Tsaka ambabata pa! Susmaryosep! Napakababata pa nung nakita ko [sa burol]. May kumausap pa nga sa akin na alumni pero napakabata pa rin!”

Dr. Salera pointed out the possibility that the applicants were told to quit when they are not able to accomplish something during the process. “Baka kasi alam mo yung thinking na ‘Kaya mo pa? Mag-quit ka na kung di mo na kaya!’ Yung pamangkin ko kasi, pag nacha-challenge, pinipilit talaga niya gawin. Malay ba ng pamangkin ko ‘yung mangyayari sa kanya. Kung meron sanang nagsu-supervise.”

 

The family also emphasized that all they want is for all student organizations in the University to be aware that their process for the applicants may lead to deaths, just like Uriel’s case. However, they still have a message for UPRC.

 “Kung meron man kayong direct connection sa nangyari sa pamangkin ko or wala, that happened before my nephew died. Kayo yung unang-unang mga naging circumstances bago nangyari kasi dati hindi naman nag ganyan ang pamangkin ko. Ang dami nang dinaanang sakit ng pamangkin ko pero hindi umabot sa ganyan. Napagod na rin yan, hindi umabot sa ganyan. Ngayon lang talaga nung gabing iyon.”

The family decided to not pursue cases against the members of the organization as of press time.

Explanation from org

“It all boils down to them, not making an attempt to explain to us,” Mr. Salera emphasized.

The family disclosed that they are only waiting for UPRC to communicate with them and explain their side. They prefer to talk to the members of the organization together with their adviser.

“After ng libing, makikipag-usap sana talaga kami [kaso] tinatantiya namin kung kaya na makipag-usap ng pamilya pero parang hindi pa,” UPRC’s Cotejo said. She acknowledged that no communication with the family has been made so far after the funeral. Also, she confirmed the unavailability of their adviser but decisively claimed that nothing holds them back from reaching out to Salera’s family. “Nahihirapan din kami; hindi lang kami nawalan ng aplikante, nawalan din kami ng kaibigan, namatayan din kami.” 

The UPLB Perspective has confirmed that Mr. Orlan Salera, father of Uriel Salera has sent a letter to the Office of Student Affairs. He is requesting Dr. Nina Cadiz to conduct an investigation regarding the death of his son.

When sought for a brief statement on Uriel’s death, the UPLB University Student Council (USC) expressed their deepest condolences to Salera’s family and friends. “Mahirap at nakakalungkot talaga ang pangyayari, and the least we can do for now is to get the details of the whole picture, avoid any hasty generalizations and sympathize for his loved ones and family,” the USC added.

Admin to UPRC: Don’t say anything

Cotejo disclosed to the UPLB Perspective that they talked with the Student Organizations and Activities Division of the Office of Student Affairs (SOAD-OSA), Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), Office of the Public Relations (OPR), and Los Banos Municipal Police.

“Kinausap na kami ng OSA-SOAD, OVCCA, OPR, LB PNP pero sabi nila, ‘wag na muna magsalita – ayaw nila kaming  magsalita kasi mauungkat lang daw. Bakit pa kami lalapit sa kanila [OSA] kung gusto lang din naman nilang maging passive na lang kami about this?” Cotejo said.

“Actually, their main concern is, ‘Sino yung nagkakalat ng issue?’ Kaya di kami makakilos nang maayos – we’re expecting na sila mismo yung mag-guide samin, maglalabas ng statement, pero tinanong lang nila kung anong nangyari at kung kailangan daw namin ng counselling. Wala na rin sila planong gawin. Kung mismong SOAD walang comment, di na namin maco-control yung safety at image ng UPLB,” added Cotejo during their dialogue with the admin.

Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias and SOAD Head Prof. Jickerson P. Lado declined to comment as of press time. [P]

The UPLB Perspective remains open to the side of the  OSA-SOAD, OVCCA, and OPR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKING: CVM stude dies of heart failure

[FIRST UPDATE: 29 August 2016, 8:20 PM] UPLB Perspective has confirmed that Uriel Fabello Salera, an 18-year-old student of the College of Veterinary Medicine, passed away on Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Salera’s immediate family confirmed in an interview that Uriel’s cause of death is cardio-respiratory arrest. According to the student’s relatives, on Friday morning, he underwent a round of jogging at the Freedom Park. Salera went home to Calamba City, and arrived at around 9 p.m. of the same day. The jogging was part of the application process of an organization he intended to join.

The UPLB Perspective will bring you more information as we confirm details of this developing story. [P]

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.09.22 PM

UP studes slam 1320th BOR meeting

WORDS | Czarina Joy Arevalo
REPORTS | John Joshua Azucena

“Paninindigan natin ‘yan,” UP President Alfredo E. Pascual vowed when asked if he is ready to face charges against him.

UP Los Baños and UP Diliman students, together with All UP Workers Alliance, stormed the 1320th Board of Regents (BOR) Meeting where PAEP was interrogated on Thursday, August 25 at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman.

The #BORProtest is a system-wide mobilization called for by the Rise for Education Alliance in the UP System. All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) Los Baños and Diliman Chapter, and All UP Workers Union Diliman joined the demonstration.

UPLB and UPD University Student Council (USC) Chairpersons Merwin Jacob Alinea and Bryle Leaño lead the negotiation with President Pascual. They raised the students’ concern on the Student Academic Information System (SAIS), which caused enrollment fiasco in UPLB; the eUP Project; and the Socialized Tuition System (STS). On the other hand, All UP Workers Alliance registered their calls on the unreleased Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) Incentives, and the junking of contractualization.

PAEP’s Stand

“Handa po ba kayong panagutan ang lahat ng ito, lalung-lalo na ‘yung mga anomalous at kaduda-duda ninyong mga gawain lalung-lalo na doon sa pagpapahirap sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan katulad na lamang ng eUP? Hindi po yan rhetorical question. It’s a yes or a no,” Chairperson Leaño asked President Pascual.

“Paninindigan natin ‘yan.” PAEP answered.

Paep.jpg

Fast Talk

“Malinaw na magpapatuloy ang kontraktwalisasyon, STS, at eUP,” Chairperson Leaño reiterated PAEP’s answers.

In the fast talk, Chairperson Leaño asked President Pascual on his stand in the junking of STS, eUP and contractualization. “Wala sa powers ko ang pagtatanggal ng kontraktwalisasyon,” PAEP said. The President also pointed out that the BOR shall decide whether the STS be junked or not.

“Definitely, we will not junk eUP!” he then pointed out. However, PAEP added that a review on SAIS will be done.

PAEP vs UP students

Chairperson Alinea stressed the abandonment of the administration at a time when the students plead for support during the online enrollment. The supposed “online” enlistment, however, caused students to camp out in the UPLB campus where the SAIS website can be accessed.

Alinea expressed, “If I’m not mistaken, ‘di lang po ito concern ng UPLB. Sayang nga po na wala dito ang UP Baguio, UP Manila, at UP Cebu, pero we can attest that during our General Assembly of Student Councils, we are all calling to junk eUP since hindi po deserve ng mga students ang ganitong service na as a state university ay nagpoprovide ng accessible education for all.”

Moreover, Alinea raised the issue regarding the lack of faculty, infrastructures and facilities in UPLB, when instead the administration is prioritizing eUP.

Hindi po talaga siya yung kailangan ng university natin, kasi during the implementation of eUP, nandiyan pa rin yung kakulangan ng facilities para sa mga estudyante, nandyan pa rin yung kulang na faculty and mababang sahod ng mga faculty natin,” he added.

(READ: #JunkSAIS: SAIS Registration Leads to Chaos)

In line with the discrediting of the eUP Team on the “System Error: An Investigative Study on the Implementation of eUP Project in the University of the Philippines” of Ronn Joshua C. Bautista and Khrixia Zhienelle A. Subingsubing, UP Diliman College of Mass Communication (CMC) students, Hazel Lobres from the college council demanded for a public apology from the administration.

“We would like you to issue a public apology because it was a direct attack to the CMC Department. Dinidiscredit mo po hindi lang yung mga estudyante namin kundi pati po yung mga professors,” Lobres stated.

“Kaya lang naman naglabas ng statement ang eUP ay dahil ginawang public ang thesis,” the UP President replied.

Daniel Lorenzo Mariano of College of Arts and Letters (CAL) SC also raised his dismay on the rise of profit-generating infrastructures, yet no plans for the school buildings. “Sobrang bilis ng pagpapatayo ng Town Center o TechnoHub pero atrasado pa rin ang FC [Faculty Center] namin,” he said. Mariano recounted the CAL FC fire last April 1, which took the building down.

PAEP vs UP workers

“Basic Labor Rights ang CNA Incentives pero ayaw ipatupad. Nakakahiya para sa premier university!” Dr. Ramon Guillermo from AUPAEU pointed out.

The All UP Workers Alliance urged the Pascual administration to release their CNA Annual Incentive as per provision of CNA. Dr. Guillermo said that only digested figures were being highlighted every meeting, and not the solution to the issue. He reiterated the violations of the Pascual administration on CNA and DBM Circular 2015-2 on CNA Incentive, and unfair labor practices. Moreover, the Ombudsman case against PAEP was already filed.

“Inutusan ng Ombudsman ang UP admin[istration] na bumalik sa negotiation table ngunit pinaikot-ikot lamang kami. Kahirapan ang dinaranas ng mga kawani, guro at mananaliksik at dagdag benepisyo at pagbibigay ng kaukulang incentive and tulay na sasagot dito,” All UP Workers Alliance said during the protest.

According to the Civil Service Commission, “Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) is a contract negotiated between an accredited employees’ organization as the negotiating unit and the employer/management on the terms and conditions of employment and its improvements that are not fixed by law.” In CNA, those who can enter are the accredited union and the employer/management.

Protest

Collective Action

Simultaneous with the BOR Protest in UP Diliman, mobilizations in UP Manila and UP Baguio also took place.

Raising their placards while registering their call to junk SAIS and eUP, delegates from UPLB marched from Vinzons Hall to Palma Hall, where they merged and marched with the All UP Workers Alliance and UPD students to Quezon Hall.

Sistematiko ang kalapastanganan ng BOR at hindi ibinibigay ang kung anong para sa atin,” Student Regent Raoul Manuel said during the protest program in front of Quezon Hall. Kabataan Partylist Congresswoman Sarah Elago showed support in the BOR Protest.

 

The dialog with UP President ended with the singing of UP Naming Mahal. SR Manuel urged to continue the fight and mobilization even outside of the BOR. The August 25 mobilization concluded with the throwing of paintballs on the walls of Quezon Hall as a sign of protest. [P]

Wall

#JunkSAIS | UPLB students: ‘The students, united, will never be defeated!’

WORDS | Czarina Joy Arevalo

 

“Bakit ba kayo galit na galit?” the UPLB administration asked.

In order to register the students’ call to junk the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) which caused enrollment fiasco, more than 800 students and faculty members hold a protest rally, chanting “The students, united, we’ll never be defeated” which marked the first day of classes in UP Los Banos on Wednesday.

The protest rally called for the extension of registration; postponement of classes and other operations; approval of all petition sections; explanation on the dubious and exorbitant fees; holding PAEP, UP administration, and eUP Project proponents accountable; junking of SAIS, and dialogue with the Office of the Chancellor.

The students demanded for a dialogue with UP Assistant Vice President for Development and Director Jaime D.L. Caro, eUP Project implementer, reported to be in the Office of the Chancellor. However, the UPLB administration responded by locking down the Main Library, and lying on the whereabouts of Dr. Caro.

Student protesters successfully gained entry in the building, leaving the glass door broken. They occupied the third floor where administrative offices are housed. Although there is a clamor from the students for Dr. Caro to face them, the assistant vice president has been able to leave the building, leaving the questions of the students on SAIS unanswered.

IMG_4955.JPG

“Bakit ba kayo galit na galit?”

Juan Paolo Akihiro, Office of Public Relations staff, blatantly asked why UPLB students are in raged. His exact words say: “Bakit ba kayo galit na galit?” He said this as he negotiated with the University Student Council (USC) as students urged for a dialogue with Dr. Caro.

Another admin staff faced the students, saying “We are inviting you to go up.” “We are inviting you to go down,” USC answered. “Pero admin kami,” the admin staff added.”Pero kami ang student body,” USC said in return.

Negotiations in front of the Main Library ensued with different admin staff facing the student protesters.

37.7 M for SAIS

According to AVP Caro, 37.7 million has been allotted for SAIS, and is good for five years. These include the 14.1 million for the Oracle Software Perpetual License and 23.6 million for the implementation/deployment cost.

Moreover, other costs of the contract with ePLDT for Oracle Software and Implementation amounted to 27.8 million which accounts for System Integration Cost (1.1 M); Hosting Services (19.6 M); and Training on Technical/Users/Trainers (7.1 M).

As for eUP expenses, in general, Dr. Caro reported a total of 724.9 million. These include particulars such as Information Systems-related Expenses (215.1 M); Other IT Expenses (54.7 M); Internet and Communications (90.7 M) and; Infrastructure and Equipment (364.4 M).

AVP Jaime Caro commented on the number of student protesters in front of the Main Library, saying that they are just few students: “Konti lang ang estudyanteng nasa baba.” As the student protesters gained entry in the building, AVP Caro has already been evacuated.

Selected members of the media from the UPLB Perspective, Rappler, and Inquirer were allowed to enter the Office of the Chancellor. AVP Caro gave a presentation on eUP. He discussed the recent DoS attack in the system, expenses of the eUP, UP System bandwidth, top universities in Asia Pacific using Oracle Peoplesoft Campus Solutions, leading institutions on Oracle Campus Solutions, and Systems Integration.

SAIS is the new enrollment system which replaces the homegrown SystemOne. SAIS is part of the eUP Project by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual.

IMG_4897

READ | SAIS replaces SystemOne 

READ | #JunkSAIS: Registration leads to chaos

Collective March

The protest rally started in the SU Amphitheatre where the annual Org Fair 2016 ‪#UPLBUnite: Sama-samang Sumusulong Tungo sa Libreng Edukasyon organized by UPLB All Student Councils Assembly, together with the Rise for Education – UPLB, took place earlier on Wednesday.

The said org fair is a venue to showcase the culture of organizations in UPLB which elicits camaraderie and is eventually geared towards nation-building. The students marched to Oblation Park, Physical Sciences Bldg, Carabao Park, all the way to the Office of the Chancellor.

All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) joined the mobilization wherein they gave a solidarity message. Professor Liberty Notarte-Balanquit addressed PAEP, saying: “President Pascual, this is the huge wave of bodies you are waiting for.”

“You want a battle? We’ll give you a good battle,” Prof. Balanquit said.

IMG_4874.JPG

Dialogue with the University Registrar

With the successful entry in the building, the students intensified their call for dialogue. However, no administrative officer faced the protesters but University Registrar Myrna Carandang and Assistant to the Chancellor Acordia. Chancellor Fernando Sanchez was reported to be out of the country, while AVP Caro was reported to have left the building.

While waiting for the response of the admin to the call for a dialogue, the program continued in the third floor looby with solidarity messages from different student councils and organizations, as well as cultural presentation from the demonstrators.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 3.21.28 PM.png

After series of negotiations between USC Chairperson Merwin Alinea and University Registrar Carandang through a phone call, it was settled that the dialogue be at the first floor lobby of the Main Library.

During the consultation, issues on the registration process were raised. Students demanded for extension of registration period, citing the reasons. These include prerog, long lines of student loan board, petition courses, and such. Moreover, students urged for direct statement from Dr. Carandang with regards to absences matter incurred during registration period. The university registrar, then, assured students that a request shall be filed to the Chancellor to make a memo for those students still not registered, not be marked absent.

Registration issues tackled in the dialogue include the unjust prioritization scheme of SAIS, the comparison of SAIS to SystemOne, MRR and LOA, among others.

Dr. Carandang urged students to not compare SAIS to SystemOne. Students asked the university registrar on her stand on junking SAIS. “There are things that are beyond my jurisdiction, there are preps which should be done,” Dr. Carandang answered. “I will not say yes just to make you happy. If SAIS is really a big, big, big failure, then I’m with you,” she said.

The university registrar also highlighted that PAEP wanted to talk to the students. “A van may be used to accommodate students on the way to Diliman…pero kung sampung trak naman, I will coordinate with Berto kung ano man ang desisyon regarding sa meeting with PAEP,” she added.

Jethro Pugal, student, pointed out that a single car that transports PAEP to UPLB is what is needed, not vans nor trucks transporting UPLB students to UP Diliman.

The dialogue concluded with the reiteration of the issues raised and resolutions, to be forwarded to the UPLB administration.

The protest rally ended with the dialogue, with the assurance from University Registrar Carandang to forward the calls of the student body. Prop materials, bannering the calls of student protest, were left posted in the Office of the Chancellor. The dialogue ended at aroung 8:30 in the evening. [P]

 

SAIS replaces SystemOne

University of the Philippines’ Electronic UP (eUP) Project makes Student Academic Information System (SAIS) to be the new official online registration system of UPLB in lieu of SystemOne for the 1st semester, A.Y. 2016-2017.

A pilot run for SAIS was made during April 2013 in the UP System Office, and two UP campuses: UP Manila (UPM) and UP Open University (UPOU). On October 2013, SAIS was officially launched in UPM and UPOU. Moreover, an online mock enrollment with SAIS was held during the dates of April 26-28 and was extended until May 8 in UPLB.

With a five-year budget of P751.9 million, eUP makes use of imported system software from PeopleSoft Campus Solutions program, which is created and developed by the United States’ Oracle Database.

Big companies such as the Electronic Philippines Long Distance Telephone (ePLDT) Incorporated, Beacon Systems, and Smart Communications Incorporated, are main investors of Oracle and eUP. Under Oracle are five information management systems, which included SAIS.

SAIS has a lot more features than its predecessor, SystemOne, which will allow students not only to enroll in their preferred subjects, but to also pay for fees, to request for documents, and to view unofficial grades. Faculty and staff will also more easily manage enrollment and student requests online.

SAIS and eUP are all part of the “UP Strategic Plan 2011-2017: The Path to Greatness” which intended to turn UP into a globally competitive university alongside other top Asian campuses.

 SAIS VS SystemOne

First developed in 2004, SystemOne has been serving for the past 12 years as UPLB’s official online registration system (ORS). Over this course of time, various local IT-skilled students, professors, alumnis, etc. have contributed to develop SystemOne into the user-friendly software it is today.

According to SystemOne Administrator, Mr. Rommel V. Bulalacao, what makes it so user-friendly is its capability of guiding students towards courses in the university, available subjects, allowed number of units to take, and more. “[SystemOne] works in conjunction with REGIST and most of the features na sinasabi nilang student-friendly ay nanggaling din sa REGIST,” said Bulalacao.

However, with the arrival of the new academic year is the arrival of SAIS – a program that is “being used at over 800 campuses in more than 20 countries.”

When asked to compare SAIS with SystemOne, Prof. Bulalacao had this to say, “As a web developer, as an IT practitioner, nung tinignan ko yung site, meron talagang mga points of concern. And I’m not saying this because of my bias for being the administrator of SystemOne and developer ng SystemOne.”

Kung makikita nyo dun sa first page pa lang, you’re given this warning na yung operating system mo ay hindi supported ng system. It is very rare nowadays na meron kang web application na dependent sa operating system,” added Bulalacao. “That is so 90’s.”

Bulalacao explained that the reason operating systems were developed and upgraded was to patch up the security holes in the older versions and that these older operating systems were no longer as secure as the newer ones. “Now to ask the users to go back and install Windows 7, Windows XP; hindi sya magandang sign…. It’s a web application so it should work regardless of the [operating system].”

 Students react to SAIS

UPLB students have various opinions regarding the implementation of SAIS in the first semester. Despite its notoriety in universities and companies abroad, SAIS does not seem to be well-liked within the Elbi campus.

A student from the College of Arts and Science (CAS) has deemed SAIS as a hassle and questioning why SystemOne must be replaced when it was finally operating quickly and smoothly.

Coincidentally, one student from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) finds the new ORS to be more complicated than its predecessor, saying that SystemOne was more comfortable to use because of the simple user interface.

From the College of Development Communication (CDC), a student states that it was “infuriating… because it was implemented in such short notice even though it is technically and aesthetically subpar.”

Another CAS student disliked the fact that SAIS was not user-friendly and says, “bukod sa sobrang hirap aralin kung papaano gamitin, ay napakamahal – mahal para sa klase ng serbisyong binibigay [nito].

Many students are still dubious of using SAIS instead of SystemOne due to the imperfect user-experience. With this in mind, Prof. Bulalacao advises the students to study the mechanics of SAIS instead, since it is what is available. [P]

First Published in UPLB Perspective Volume 42, Issue 3

#JunkSAIS: Student gets blocked by @UPLBofficial for calling them out

Photo by : Ed Jamito

It was destined to fail.

The Student Academic Information System (SAIS) implementation in the current UPLB’s registration system led to students going to the campus by 10 PM this July 30 with hopes to access the site as some students attest that it can be opened faster using the UPLB wifi.

It was later confirmed by the University Student Council through the SAIS team that access is better using UPLB’s internet connection. The post has then received violent reactions from students.

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 11.04.35 PM

Amidst safety concerns within the campus due to the recent rape incident, curfew was lifted in front the Physical Sciences building in order for students to access the SAIS site.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.58.40 PM

As of 12:31 AM, July 31, around 200 students were gathered in the Physical Sciences Building trying to enlist their subjects using the UPLB wifi.physci.PNG

There were also some students assembled beside and along the College of Economics and Management and School of Environment Science and Management at 12:49 AM.

SESAM

“The USC is trying its best to help out the students. We have been coordinating with the OUR and the SAIS team. We have been monitoring the SAIS group round the clock
Right now, some USC members are stationed at physci to monitor and check on the students there as well. We are trying our very best to address all the concerns of the students. Nahihirapan din naman kami kasi medyo hindi buo or malinaw yung information na binibigay nila at times when we have queries sa OUR or sa SAIS team.
Nakapag labas na ang USC together with other college student Councils ng statement regarding SAIS. Sana mapansin na ng admin at marealize nila ano na ang nagyayari. Napansin na tayo ng ibang tao at media, sila wala pa ring ginawa,” USC Councilor Sairah Mae Saipudin said in an interview.

Student gets blocked by UPLB Twitter Account

A student was blocked by the University of the Philippines Twitter account (@UPLBOfficial) for calling them out on the social networking site for reposting Instagram posts instead of helping students amidst the registration debacle.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.53.43 PM

 

The UPLB Twitter account managed by the Office of Public Relations (OPR) has since been asked to comment about the issue. The publication hasn’t received any reply yet as of 12:59 AM, July 31. [P]

 

 

 

#JunkSAIS: SAIS Registration Leads to Chaos

UPLB’s second day of online registration heated up in social media as the scheduled regular students to enlist at 12AM on July 29 were not able to access the Student Academic Information System site even before the arranged time.

At 2:03 AM, Chris Salvatierra, a staff from the e-UP team, announced in the official Facebook group of SAIS users and developers that the SAIS team is working on the fluctuating status and continuous crashing of the site. Salvatierra apologized for the late announcement and stated that the site may be accessed at 9:00 AM on the same day. Confusions and rants from the students piled up in the morning upon confirmation that certain students were able to enlist their subjects and reserve their slots after having been able to access the site at around 3:30AM – contradicting to the statement of the e-UP staff that the system will be down up until 9:00 AM.

At 9:46 AM, the University Student Council released a statement in their Facebook page about the council’s proposal of a full reversion of slots and operation of the SystemOne instead of the SAIS for this coming semester’s registration. This statement earned different reactions from the studentry.

On the side of the students

Patrick Tenedero, a graduating Electrical Engineering student, told his experience in the registration system, “Sa online reg na ‘to, pareho kong na-experience ‘yung madali at ‘yung mahirap na way. Doon kasi sa first day, wala masyadong pressure sa pag-eenlist namin since unang-una kaming mga graduating na sumabak sa UP SAIS. Meanwhile, sa pag-eenlist ko para sa friend ko noong 2nd day, doon ko na-experience yung laki ng pagkakaiba sa hirap ng enlistment ng mga nasa 1st at 2nd day. Sa 16 online registrations na inabutan ko sa buong stay ko sa UP, ngayon lang nagkaroon ng tahasang diskriminasyon sa mga estudyante kung saan tinanggalan ng karapatan ang marami sa isang patas at maayos na registration system–something na dapat ikahiya ng UP admin.”

Ian Patrick Esguerra, an irregular Veterinary Medicine student, expressed his sentiment on the prioritization of registration “Yung paghiwalayin pa ang regulars at irregulars? Parang hindi na siguro necessary. Pantay pantay na dapat dito. Dahil kahit naman may nabagsak na kami, parepareho lang naman natin gustong maka-sablay. Wala na ba kami chance makabawi? O makahabol?”

Ivan Aguilar, a regular Mathematics and Science Teaching student, said, “Nanaig yung dismaya kasi maraming pagkukulang yung administration – kulang sa preparation, mga mock enrollment, at trials at info dissemination. Pero mas nangingibabaw yung pagiging proud ko sa mga students na laging binibuhay yung kultura ng bayanihan lalo na sa mga ganitong oras at kalagayan!”

SAIS.png

 On the side of the student council

Amidst the registration chaos, the University Student Council members try to reach out to every concern the students and first time SAIS users address to their office. The following statements are the messages they would like to relay to every UPLB student:

“I have always said that the registration process is difficult, to say the least. In such times of desperation, we forget that our greatest enemies here are not ourselves nor the UP faculty and staff, but the very system of injustice we are facing. The very reason why students are fighting for their own slots and why we have resorted to a new but far inferior system when our very own homegrown registration software works well is all interconnected. We must always remember that the fullest implementation of SAIS is a part of a bigger scheme: make UP a self-reliant institution. And as part of the University Student Council, I urge the students to be critical and not think just at the surface level, but think about as well of why such phenomena are happening; why we are being divided. It is high time to let go of our personal biases and think of the common welfare of every UPLB student, not just the majority but as well as the minority. Division, most of the time, comes from confusion. Until then, we would only realize that UPLB is built on student movement, through collective action and unity among us. Only then we would achieve what’s ours, our right for education.” said Janssen Andrew Calvelo, USC Councilor.

 

“Bale kahapon talaga mahirap i-handle yung dami ng mga studyanteng nagrereklamo at nagagalit tungkol sa SAIS. Sanay naman na tayo sa mga nagwawala online kapag padating na yung enrollment pero this time iba rin talaga yung pagka-agit ng mga estudyante sa hindi makatarungan na 12mn na oras ng enrollment. Mabuti nalang rin at may initiative ang CEATSC na bumuo nung Student Academic Information System Bulletin Board. Karamihan ng estudyante akala ginawa yun ng SAIS Team, pero nag effort lang talaga ang mga student council na mabuo yun para mabigyan ng tamang impormasyon ang mga estudyante, at para maging madali ang pagkuha namin ng mga concern nila na pwedeng masolusyonan at magtulungan lahat. Pagdating ng bandang alas-dose, sobrang dami nang nagpo-post, mga meme, nagmumura, nagwawala, hindi na namin ma-maintain yung group.

At this point nakikiusap na kami as USC na i-down na yung server kasi napaka-unfair naman nito para sa mga umuwi na, sa mga walang access dahil sarado na yung comp shop, lahat. Ang nakakalungkot pa dun, yung ibang estudyante sinisisi pa kami pagdating sa mga problemang ‘to, eh ang ginagawa namin ay nakikipagcoordinate naman talaga sa SAIS team and maaga palang sinusubukan na namin macontact yung offices ng admin pero wala silang reply.

Nung mga 5:00 na, umabot na kami sa punto na kailangan nang pagusapan yun ngang reversion ng slots. Nagdiscussion kami kung kailangan ba talaga ‘yon, kung ano ba magiging implication nun. Narating namin yung ganung decision kasi ang nangyayari so far ay sobrang biased against dun sa mahihirap na estudyante; sa mga estudyanteng walang pang computer shop, yung mga umuuwi ng madaling araw.

Gising ang USC buong magdamag. Inaakala ng mga estudyante na tinulugan namin ‘to, pero buong magdamag kausap namin si Sir Chris sa kung ano ba ang pwedeng magawa pa sa mga estudyante. Nakakalungkot din na may mga ilan na sinasabi pa na kaya lang namin gusto gawin iyong reversion kasi wala din kaming slots. Pero yung decision talaga dun sa reversion ay hindi naging madali sa amin. Nag-emergency meeting pa ang USC at 7AM para ma-formalize na namin ang mga proposal namin sa admin para dun.

Mahirap yung decision, sobra. Alam naming hindi siya magiging popular, o kaya maraming magagalit sa amin, pero naniniwala at naninindigan ang konseho na ang SAIS ay walang ginawa kung hindi i-divide ang mga studyante into a disgusting caste system kung saan binibigyan priority ang mga studyante na ‘regular’ kuno at pinapahirapan ang mga irregular. Na sobrang problematic ng sistema nila at may mga estudyanteng sobrang arbitrary ng pagiging irregular, walang proper system in place.

May isang nanay na lumapit sa akin, kinuwento niya na yung anak niya daw sobrang naiyak nung nalaman niyang irregular siya, eh nagmidyear naman siya. Incoming sophomore palang yung bata, pinaghihirapan niya yung pagaaral niya at may GWA na 1.5, pero ayon daw sa SAIS irregular siya. Yun ba yung tama at efficient na sistema? May mga estudyanteng hindi nagmidyear, o kaya nag loan or humiram ng libro sa library, pero pagtingin nila sa SAIS nila may holds sila mula sa mga ‘to. May kulang pa daw silang bayad, o kaya hindi binabalik na libro. out of nowhere. Mga estudyante ‘tong walang ginagawang mali, pero ninanakawan ng karapatan nilang mag-aral dahil sa palpak na sistema ng SAIS

Kinonsider rin namin yung mga estudyanteng nakakuha na ng slots sa SAIS siyempre pero kung iisipin natin, hindi naging patas ang sistema at may nakakalamang, at ang ginagawa lamang nito ay pinaglalaban ang mga estudyante sa isa’t isa. Ang nakikita na lang natin ngayon na problema ngayon ay SAIS, pero hindi natin nakikita yung mga pinagdadaanan ng kapwa nating Iskolar

Sobrang sakit talaga sa puso nung mga nanay na lumalapit sa amin na nagsasabi na naawa daw sila sa anak nila dahil pinaghihirapan nila yung pinagaaralan nila o kaya wala silang magawa kung hindi magdasal na lang para sa anak nila nung sinabihan sila na kailangan nilang magpagabi sa labas dahil lang sa SAIS. Iyon yung mga hindi nakikita ng mga estudyante eh. na hindi naman tayo dapat nagaaway sa isa’t isa. dapat walang estudyanteng swerte sa ganitong slots, o swerte sa ganitong subject. Lahat tayo pinapahirapan ng ganitong sistema. madalas nalang nagiging bulag tayo sa pinagdadaanan ng kapwa nating Iskolar. Nawawala yung spirit ng oblation, yung pagiging handang magsakripisyo para sa iba ng walang pagaalinlangan.” according to Jason Del Rosario, CDC Representative to the USC.

#JunkSAIS placed first in the Philippine Trends on Twitter due to the rage of the first time SAIS users.

According to Former Student Regent Mico Pangalangan’s End of Term Report on the 42nd General Assembly of Student Councils, the P750 million project of President Alfredo E. Pascual, the e-UP project, is now estimated to cost into P1 billion. [P]