UP president on new system: We must catch up with peers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2016 09:17 PM

MANILA -- University of the Philippines (UP) system President Alfredo Pascual has broken his silence regarding the new electronic UP (eUP) Program.

This came a month after the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) came under fire over the problematic enrollment in UP Los Baños, which resulted in unequal registration access for thousands of students in Laguna.

In an open letter addressed to the UP community, Pascual said "birthing pains" are expected when adopting new systems like the SAIS.

"But in the case of UPLB, the problems were compounded by a massive and apparently malicious Denial of Service (DoS) attack on our server at around the start of registration, which is now under investigation by the authorities. Apparently, someone out there wanted SAIS to fail, for reasons only he or she can tell," he said in a statement Monday. 

Pascual explained that SAIS was designed to aid processes for student like admissions, enlistment, cross-registration, shifting, transferring as well as planning aid for faculty members, among others.

For him, adopting SAIS means addressing the current needs of UP's constituents. It also means using the system used by and worked well with 700 other leading colleges and universities worldwide.

"There is an urgent need for us to catch up with our peer universities in the region and the rest of the world," he said. 

No more lines

He said he wants to end long registration lines at UP.

"SAIS is meant to eventually banish the long queues that have remained an embarrassing hallmark of the UP registration system in this digital age."

He added, "SAIS has already been successfully implemented previously in three CUs (constituent universities) -- in Manila, Baguio, and Cebu. This semester, we introduced SAIS in UP Los Baños, and after a few initial glitches at the start, SAIS settled down to its normal operation, thus enabling registration to proceed up to its completion. The fact that there were initial glitches cannot mean that the system per se is fatally flawed, and thus, to be rejected."

He asked for understanding and urged students to keep an open mind about the innovation.

"I understand and accept that dramatic political action is part of our hallowed tradition of dissent. In a sense, this is good as it provoked more questions about and drew more attention to what eUP is all about and what it will mean to the University’s future."

SAIS is a part of the eUP Project pioneered by Pascual's administration.