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UPLB students unite to junk eUP SAIS

MANILA, Philippines - Students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) are facing challenges and have decry sentiments on social media over the enrollment process fiasco brought by the newly implemented Student Academic Information System (SAIS) for the First Semester of the Academic Year 2016-2017.

UPLB enrollment fiasco under eUP SAIS.
UPLB enrollment fiasco under eUP SAIS. Photo Credit: UPLB USC
On Saturday, 'UPLB' has trended on Twitter to voice out students current situation on accessing the system with some were forced to camp out just to enlist subjects.

"This was supposed to be an online registration but the site is only accessible within UPLB," said one of the students.

The enlistment for UPLB has started on July 28 for graduate and graduating students, July 29 for regular and July 31 for other students. It is scheduled to end on Tuesday, August 2.


Check out #UPLB SAIS reminders and procedures here.

The Student Council of UPLB (USC) has released its official statement against the UPLB SAIS enrollment that allegedly resulted to one of the grandest fiasco across the entire UP System.

The eUP project's SAIS was also implemented on the following campuses: UP Manila, Cebu, Open University and Baguio.


"During the scheduled date, the SAIS online portal remained inaccessible to a vast majority of students who are in dire need of units to be enrolled. The blame, of course, resides in the weak infrastructure architecture and poor overall implementation of eUP--the project touted as the Pascual administration's pièce de résistance."

According to USC, the administration did not revealed the contigency plans in case of system failures. "The Office of the University Registrar (OUR) stood firmly that contingency plans will not be disclosed, and promised that problems will be fixed by the SAIS Team for a smooth enlistment of subjects."

SAIS is one of the five component system of the eUP. Flaunting the theme of "One University, One UP." The cost of said project soars even upward to one billion pesos. The platform was developed by Oracle, a large American multinational IT company, and powered by ePLDT.

Read: UPLB USC's official statement as shared on Facebook

Students decry the utter wreck the enrollment process has become. The general registration for the First Semester of the Academic Year 2016-2017 in the UP Los Baños, UP Manila, and UP Baguio has resulted to one of the grandest fiasco across the entire UP System. During the scheduled date, the SAIS online portal remained inaccessible to a vast majority of students who are in dire need of units to be enrolled. The blame, of course, resides in the weak infrastructure architecture and poor overall implementation of eUP--the project touted as the Pascual administration's pièce de résistance.

Students are left in a disarray with no idea how to proceed with the new registration process; while the administration is adamant on the idea of a contingency plan for the failing system. Last week, the University Student Council (USC) submitted its request to the administration regarding its disclosure of the contingency plans just in case the system fails. However, the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) stood firmly that contingency plans will not be disclosed, and promised that problems will be fixed by the SAIS Team for a smooth enlistment of subjects.

The Student Academic Information System or commonly known as SAIS is one of the five component system of the eUP. Flaunting the theme of "One University, One UP", the development of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) was seen by the Pascual administration as the cornerstone because of the supposed ease of different administrative process done through an integrated digital infrastructure. While the University is marred with buildings and facilities as old as the Second World War, the cost of such project soars ever upward to one billion pesos. This begs the question of what the priorities of the Pascual administration should have been.

In itself, the project has been downright opaque. No financial statements were ever released for the stakeholders to scrutinize. The administration chose a licensed proprietary platform developed by Oracle--a large American multinational IT company, and powered by ePLDT. Questions such as why a proprietary platform was used remains unaswered. Contrary to what the administration claims, closed-source platform actually restricts interoperability as files and databases are kept in proprietary format. In view of the balooning expenditures of the University coupled with the dismal appropriations made by the government to UP, it's no-brainer that the savings could have been accrued if the administration opted for an open-source platform instead.

Homegrown platform like the SystemOne delivered a satisfactory job when the registration comes. It is worth noting that the system operated under a miniscule budget in comparison to eUP. SystemOne progressed through time through the careful supervision of Professor Duldulao and Bulalacao along with the different student-developers. Indeed, SystemOne was the pride of the University community for its collaborative character and the optimization of the registration process. In contrast, during the trial runs of SAIS, students were appalled by the seemingly unintuitive process of registering for a course. Problems such as the lack of support for cross-platform usage and the seemingly outdated user interface of the system were registered. To the dismay and anger of the many, it was only the tip of the iceberg. SAIS swiftly changed the already bureaucratic processes in the University into an even more maddeningly complicated process. This instance alone belies the administration's claim of simplifying and harmonizing operations.

To date, many students are left without any units enlisted even though they are in good scholastic standing. Some of the students are unable to go through with the registration because of the holds placed in their accounts due to some unsettled accountabilities. In line with this, All Student Councils Assembly (ASCA) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños firmly stands that Student Academic Information System (SAIS) should be junked for this is a manifestation of disservice to the student body, and this is a system brought by the Pascual administration that further perpetuates commercialization of UP education, and disenfranchises the right to education of every Iskolar ng Bayan. We are calling the students to forge unity amidst the fiasco and struggle as the University of the Philippines has been the bastion of activism since the time the students realized the needs to build a stronger foundation of nationalism and liberty during the American era. In this plight, we are calling for the active involvement of individuals, and various organizations in the upcoming mass actions in completely junking SAIS for it is not the real need of our university; instead we are calling for a full state subsidy, and the ending of commercialization of education.


UPDATE: The UPLB through eUP Project Facebook page has released on Saturday its official statement on SAIS enrollment fiasco, it reads:

In light of the recent rescheduling of enrollment due to SAIS downtime, we take full responsibility. We understand the gravity of the situation, and we empathize with everyone’s frustration. It seems our team and partner ePLDT’s efforts to remedy the situation did not meet your expectations, and for that, we sincerely apologize.

You, the University's staff and students, are UP's most valuable asset. No one is more regretful for this lapse than we are as implementers of this system. However, we stand by the belief that with its continued use and your support, SAIS will improve and scale greater heights of quality, reliability, and operational efficiency.

Rest assured that we, the eUP Team, SAIS Team, the administration of UP Los Banos, and ePLDT are all doing our best to resolve issues in the system as soon as they are detected and reported. We are also continuously attending to all support requests received through our official channels.

Should you wish to report any issues or concerns, you may contact the UPLB SAIS Team at or call (049) 536-2426 / 536-2553. In the meantime, please refer to official advisories from the UPLB SAIS Team.

We enjoin all stakeholders to recall that our ultimate goal is to improve all institutional processes that the student must undergo during his or her stay in the University - from admission to graduation. In line with this, we encourage everyone to lend their support in pursuit of this goal.

We are grateful for your continued patience and understanding as you bear with us through this challenging time.

Sincerely yours,
The eUP Project Team

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Jerome Ponce joins 'PBB Lucky Season 7' as celebrity houseguest

MANILA, Philippines - Young actor Jerome Ponce has joined Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Lucky Season 7 as houseguest on Saturday, July 30.

Jerome Ponce PBB Season 7
Jerome Ponce is the newest celebrity houseguest of 'PBB'. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN
Ponce was one of the ex-boyfriends of celebrity housemate Elisse Joson. "Sorry. It's never too late," said the celebrity houseguest during the interview.

"Never ko naman siya kinahiya!," he added.

Jerome Ponce PBB

It can be recalled that Ponce and Joson worked together in 'Be Careful With My Heart' in 2013 and their relationship lasted for a year.

The self-confessed fan of PBB has revealed that he auditioned for the reality show not once but twice as it was really his dream.

Ponce was at a computer shop when he was discovered by a talent scout, who told him to audition for the reality show in 2010 -- the same batch on which James Reid won.

"Pumila ako ng like 3 a.m. natapos kami ng 12 midnight na. 'Yun 'yung first time, finalist na ako ng Manila, hindi na ako kinolback," Ponce recalled.

He auditioned again for the teen edition in 2012, which crowned Myrtle Sarrosa as the grand winner. "Umasa din po ako dahil na-pictorial na ako," he said.

Despite his failure to get into "PBB," Ponce continued to pursue his dream. "Na-frustrate ako pero nasanay na din ako, that's life," he said.

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LIST: Top 10 companies 'Pinoys aspire to work for' 2016

MANILA, Philippines - Online employment marketplace has revealed recently the list of the top companies in the Philippines that Filipinos dream to work for based on the results of Top Companies Report for 2016.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) tops list of companies Filipinos want to work for this 2016.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) tops list of companies Filipinos want to work for this 2016. Photo Credit: SMC website
The Filipino-owned business giant San Miguel Corporation (SMC) still topped the list this 2016 for the Most Aspired Companies in the country for the third year in a row.

Food and beverage company Nestlé Philippines took the second place while global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing firm Accenture ranked third or same position last year.

BDO Unibank Incorporated and Ayala Land Incorporated rounded out the top 5 for most preferred employers.

Other companies in the top 10 includes Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, SM Investments Corporation, Google Philippines, Procter & Gamble Philippines and ABS-CBN Corporation.

Here's the infographic of Top 10 Companies this 2016 Filipinos aspire to work for:

Top 10 companies 2016

The 2016 survey, which ran from May to July 2016, was participated in by 14,062 members representing a mix of employees who hold different position levels.

It was also revealed that Basic Salary is the top factor Filipino jobseekers look for in companies they apply to. Other factors include Perks and Benefits, Training and Development Programs, Promotions and Career Development, and Company Reputation.

JobStreet is the number one talent and employment marketplace in the Philippines and in Asia. The annual Top Companies Report aims to recognize the exemplary standing of the most aspired companies by Filipino jobseekers.

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'Bagyong Carina' Update: Signal No. 2 up in 2 areas

MANILA, Philippines - 'Bagyong Carina' has maintained its strength as it continues to move towards Northern Luzon, state weather bureau PAGASA announced on Saturday, July 30 at 8:00 p.m. update.

'Bagyong Carina' Update: Signal No. 2 up in 2 areas

At 7:00 p.m. today, the center of Tropical Storm Carina was estimated based on all available data at 340 km Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes(16.2°N, 125.8°E).

'Carina' has maximum sustained winds of up to 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It is forecast to move North Northwest at 18 kph.

Forecast Positions:
  • 24 Hour(Tomorrow afternoon): 95 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
  • 48 Hour(Monday afternoon):340 km Northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (OUTSIDE PAR)
  • 72 Hour(Tuesday afternoon): 920 km West Northwest of Itbayat, Batanes (OUTSIDE PAR)
track tropical storm Carina

Tropical cyclone warning signal (TCWS) No. 2 (61-120 kph Expected in 24 hours) was raised over Isabela and Cagayan.

Impacts of the wind:
  • Light to Moderate damage to high risk structures;
  • Very light to light damage to medium-risk structures;
  • No damage to very light damage to low risk structures
  • Unshielded, old dilapidated schoolhouses, makeshift shanties, and other structures of light materials are partially damaged or unroofed.
  • A number of nipa and cogon houses may be partially or totally unroofed.
  • Some old galvanized iron (G.I.) roofs may be peeled or blown off.
  • Some wooden, old electric posts are tilted or downed.
  • Some damage to poorly constructed signs/billboards
  • In general, the winds may bring light to moderate damage to the exposed communities. Most banana plants, a few mango trees, ipil-ipil and similar types of trees are downed or broken.
  • Some coconut trees may be tilted with few others broken.
  • Rice and corn may be adversely affected.
  • Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some heavy-foliaged trees blown down.
  • Wave Height: (Open Sea) 4.1-14.0 meters

TCWS No. 1 (30-60 kph) is expected in 36 hours in the following areas: Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Abra, Ilocos Norte, Catanduanes, Aurora, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.

Impacts of the wind:

  • Very light or no damage to low risk structures,
  • Light damage to medium to high risk structures
  • Slight damage to some houses of very light materials or makeshift structures in exposed communities. Some banana plants are tilted, a few downed and leaves are generally damaged
  • Twigs of small trees may be broken.
  • Rice crops, however, may suffer significant damage when it is in its flowering stage.
  • Wave Height: (Open Sea) 1.25-4.0 meters

The tropical cyclone warning signal over Northern Samar is now lowered.

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Jinri Park decides to leave 'PBB Lucky 7' house

MANILA, Philippines - Jinri Park, a celebrity housemate of Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Lucky Season 7 has decided to leave the reality show on Saturday, July 29 due to personal reasons.

Jinri Park PBB
Celebrity housemate Jinri Park exist PBB. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN
Park's farewell to her co-housemates turned emotional. "I have to leave. I'll just wash and pack my bags. I don't know if I'll be coming back or not. I can't really say why but yeah."

"If in case I don't come back, I just want to say thank you because everyone, each one of you made me know more about myself. I really, really had a great time with everyone and it really felt like family. I'm so happy I came here and met all of you because I now have a family. I'll just pray for you always," the Korean model and radio host added.

Big Brother clarified that it is not a voluntary exit and she may return to the reality show in the near future.

"This is not a voluntary exit. I am giving you permission to go. And we will see if you can go back," Kuya told Park.

On Saturday, celebrity housemates Elisse Joson, Hideo Muraoka, JK Labajo, McCoy de Leon, Nikko Natividad, Nonong Ballinan and Yassi Pressman who lived in 'Big Brother Vietnam' are set to enter the PBB house after more than three weeks of stay there.

Amy Perez to join "PBB Lucky 7' as houseguest?

Dubbed as "Ang Tsang ng Noontime TV," Amy Perez did not expect joining the show as her house tour with 'Showtime' co-hosts Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis ended up with a revelation. "Wala ito sa contract ko!," she said.

"Meron ka kasi violation, alam mo ba na bawal ang cellphone?," Big Brother told Perez who forgot the rule of not taking photos inside the yellow house.

It was later revealed that Perez is set to return to her hosting duties on ABS-CBN's noontime show.

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'Bagyong Carina' July 29, 2016 Update: 4 areas under Signal No. 1

MANILA, Philippines - State weather bureau PAGASA on its 8:00 p.m. update today, July 29, 2016 announced that 'Bagyong Carina' maintained its strength as it moves in a Northwest direction.

'Bagyong Carina' July 29, 2016 Update

At 7:00 p.m. today, the center of Tropical Depression "Carina" was estimated based on all available data at 115 km East Northeast of Borongan City (12.0°N, 126.4°E).

'Carina' has maximum winds of 45 kph near the center and it's forecast to move Northwest at 11 kph.

Tropical cyclone warning Signal (TCWS) No. 1 (30-60kph) was raised over Catanduanes, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar and Samar in Visayas by the weather bureau.

Forecast Positions:

  • 24 Hour(Tomorrow afternoon): 405 km East of Infanta, Quezon
  • 48 Hour(Sunday afternoon): In the vicinity of Baggao, Cagayan
  • 72 Hour(Monday afternoon): 460 km West of Calayan, Cagayan (outside PAR)
  • 96 Hour(Tuesday afternoon): 745 km West of Itbayat,Batanes (outside PAR)
  • 120 Hour(Wednesday afternoon): 875 km West Northwest of Itbayat, Batanes.(outside PAR)

The estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 300 km diameter of the Tropical Depression.

Fisherfolk are alerted against moderate to rough seas over the eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas.

Areas under TCWS #1, the rest of Visayas and the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate are alerted against moderate to heavy rains which may trigger flashfloods and landslides.

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Tacloban City government reportedly misspent P1 billion in Yolanda recovery funds

MANILA, Philippines- In a 2015 audit report released by the Commission on Audit (COA) on Wednesday, July 27, it was disclosed that the City Government of Tacloban misspent almost P1 billion in Yolanda recovery funds.

Tacloban City after Typhoon Yolanda
At least 6,000 lives were claimed by super typhoon Yolanda which struck the Philippines in 2013. PHOTO CREDIT: CNN Philippines
COA auditors have discovered irregularities in the P907.56 million funds for emergency shelter assistance, aquaculture and infrastructure budgets. These funds were awarded to the Tacloban City Government by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The report revealed that there were 31 unfinished infrastructure projects that includes the construction and repair of barangay halls and mini gymnasiums as of February 3, 2016. Under the Government Procurement Reform Act, contractors of the said projects worth P100.23 million will face penalties.

Because of various reasons, 19 additional projects worth P46.53 million had to be suspended even after the contracts were awarded.

The auditors also found out that the Mariculture Park Rehabilitation Program, which costs P32.55 million, suffered missed deadlines as well as poor planning. The said project was supposed to supply fishermen with milkfish fingerlings and fish cages. Only 95 out of the 150 planned fish cages were delivered to recipients since beneficiaries needed to cash out P216,000 per cage in order to feed one cropping of milkfish.

Moreover, it was also found that a supplier didn’t deliver even a single fingerling to the beneficiaries on time under an P8.5 million contract.

The state auditors have also discovered that one out of 5 beneficiaries of Tacloban City Social Welfare and Development Office’s (CSWDO) Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program was not eligible. Furthermore, the CSWDO did not stick to the rules in choosing the beneficiaries of the program.

COA will issue Notices of Suspension and Disallowance to those liable for violations in fund disbursements. This will compel them to submit proof of eligibility or they will be required to return the entire amount given to them by the government, otherwise.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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