Iyanah Camille Brucal & Victor Gregor Limon
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PAG-ALALA SA MGANAWALA
Bilang paggunita saika-1000 araw ngkawalang-katarunganpara sa mga biktimang MaguindanaoMassacre, nagsagawang candlelightingceremony ang ilangmamamahayag saBantayog ng mgaBayani noong Agosto19. Noong Nobyembre23, 2009, 53 katao,kabilang ang 32mamamahayag, angpinatay sa itinuturingna pinakamadugongkaso ng election-relatedviolence sa bansa.
eatures, such as the STFAP,would be developed by the university, explained Pascual.Still, “Efcient and OptimizedOperations,” the philosophy o eUP,is already in practice in the currentautomated documentation andrecording system used by UP, saidUniversity Registrar EvangelineAmor.The CRS is already stable, addsthe CRS team. Adjusting the SAISo Oracle to the needs o the university would pull us back at least fveyears rom what we have now, theyexplained.Until 1997, enlistment was donemanually on a frstcome, frstserved basis. UPD introduced anenlistment system which madeuse o cards and a random selection process dubbed as ‘Writein’ in1998. This system evolved in 1999into a computerautomated system pioneered by the OUR and theCollege o Engineering’s Department o Computer Science.The three versions o CRS werecoded into colors, namely, MaroonCRS in 1999, Blue CRS in 007 andthe current Maroon CRS in 011.The later versions were characterized by improvements in eaturesand greater technology adaptation.In June 011, the CRS team, madeup o an average o eight memberso aculty and student computerprogrammers, submitted to the Ofce o the Chancellor a threeyearproposal to urther develop the Maroon CRS 011.The proposal wasapproved and part o the P18 million budget has been released orequipment such as laptops.Other enhancements, such asthe “change o matriculation” and“search by schedule” eatures under the preenlistment module wereadded last year, said CRS JuniorBusiness Analyst Mary Macapagal.At present, all UP campuses generate their own computer registration and automation system.The CRS, however, is only one othe fve inormation managementprograms under the Oracle sotware. “It doesn’t make sense anymore or [UP] to develop its ownsotware or a process that is beingdone by thousands o other entities,” said Pascual.Pascual plans to hold a dialoguewith the CRS team in September todiscuss the web team’s reservationswith eUP. “Baka mayroon talagangunique [characteristic ang CRS] nahindi macapture ng [Oracle]. But Idon’t want us to be unique. We are[already] let behind. We have toadapt to the best practice,” he said.I given enough support andconfdence rom the administration, UP could generate its own inormation management programsthat would be at par with the Oraclesotware, said Amor.“Ang pinakamalaking problemnaman ng [CRS] team is umaalisyung experienced [web] developers either dahil hindi na akma ‘yungsalary nila sa experience nila ornabuburnout lang dahil sa lack orecognition,” said Macapagal.This also begs the question: whatis the scope o SAIS? Because or allwe know, the CRS might have someeatures that are more mature thanSAIS, Macapagal adds.Currently, the CRS has an annualaverage budget o P.7 million, only5.4 percent o the cost o the wholeOracle sotware which is P50 million.
eUP directly contradicts an alternative recommendation o ormerUP President Francisco NemenzoJr.: the adoption o opensourcedsystems, to prevent the universityrom being beholden to IT companies and the maintenance ee thesecompanies charge, said Diliman Interactive Learning Center DirectorPeter Sy.The eUP budget is comprised oP547 million rom reprogrammedUP unds and P198 million additional budget rom the Commission on Higher Education, said VicePresident or Development (VPD)Elvira Zamora.The budget will be rolled out inthe fve years o implementationrom 01 until 016. The regularbudget or fve years o InormationTechnology (IT) maintenance andoperations in UP is around P430million, while the added cost o implementing eUP is P314.8 million,according to the OVPD.This year, a total o P4 million or more than hal o the wholefveyear budget, would be spentmainly on the purchase o the sotware, retraining o sta and webdevelopers, and the creation anddeployment o inrastructures thatwould strengthen the connectivitybetween networks. The remainingunds would be or the continuedoperations, such as the maintenance o equipment, and salary osta and web developers.To urther support eUP, theuniversity has entered into a tieup with telecommunications giant Electronic Philippines LongDistance Telephone Company(ePLDT), which won the biddingas the system integrator that willensure the smooth linking o theOracle program into the computernetworks o UP.Meanwhile, ePLDT sister frmSmart Communications Incorporated has also oered to set up wifconnections and inrastructuresthat will strengthen the networking system, among others, in UP.Currently, the university’s internet service provider is a researcheducation network, the PhilippineResearch, Education and Government Inormation Network, whichalso provides the bandwidth usedto gain access to journals or resources rom partner institutions.“What we ear in these otheshel products is a possible lockin,wherein clients are tied to usingone brand because all the components needed is unique only orthat brand,” said Computer CenterDirector Johnrob Bantang. In thedynamic nature o technology, regular upgrades mean regular transactions with sotware providers.
Student leaders maintain thatthe unding or eUP could havebeen used or more immediateconcerns such as the developmentand improvement o acilities andequipment.“Gumradweyt na ang frst pioneering batch ng Chemical engineering dito [sa UP Visayas] subalithanggang ngayon, sa ibang schoolspa sila gumagamit ng laboratories.Mas mapapakinabangan pa ng mgaestudyante ang laboratories andnew acilities kaysa eUP,” said UPVisayas Student Council Chair Jonathan Gonzales.Unspent UP unds could havebeen reprogrammed to meet theuniversity’s other inrastructureneeds, especially as the Department o Budget and Management(DBM) slashed P5.113 billion wortho capital outlay (CO) requirementsin UP’s 013 proposed budget.Some o the proposed inrastructure projects or 013 that DBM didnot grant include the constructiono the Human Kinetics building inDiliman, the Veterinary MedicineResearch Center in Los Baños, theLibrary, Gym and Museum Building in Tacloban.On the other hand, new and higher ees are being charged to charitypatients in the Philippine GeneralHospital (PGH), an entity under UP,ollowing the series o budget cutsor the university. PGH will not receive any CO allocation or 013.The College o Human Kinetics isalso mulling on new ees or Physical Education classes (see relatedarticle).Meanwhile, some sectors o theUP community have expressedears o having a thirdparty takehold o university records and data.Zamora, however, assured thatthese ears are unounded and thatthe database will be held and maintained by the university.“I the university decides to impose Oracle, the eUP team shouldassure us that we don’t have to gothrough the similar hell we wentthrough when CRS was just starting and that Oracle can be alignedto processes that the UniversityCouncil duly approved. Otherwise,an imposition o Oracle can onlycause violence on internal University processes,” said Sy.Efciency would always be welcome, but not at the expense o ourpriorities and the welare o ourstakeholders, said Student RegentCleve Arguelles. (With reports romVienna De Francia)ALTHOUGH THE P2-TRILLIONproposed national budget or 013 is10.5 percent higher than this year’sP1.816 trillion, sectoral groups warnthat the said increase will be exploited or “electioneering” purposes instead o providing genuine socialservices to the people.For 013, the unding or economic services and social servicesincreased by P7.1 billion and P85.4billion, respectively. Economic services cover inrastructure projectswhich contribute to the country’sindustry growth, while social services include health care, housing, andpublic education.The 013 budget claims to reinorce the administration’s commitment to President Benigno AquinoIII’s “social contract with the Filipinopeople,” which seeks to create jobs,provide social services, reduce poverty, develop agriculture, and promote private business.“[However,] there is much reasonto conclude that the socalled ‘socialcontract’ … has been broken manytimes over. Growth remains exclusionary and the prospects or real,equitable, and sustained developmentremain poor,” countered independentthinktank IBON oundation.Touted as the “Empowerment
‘Deceptive’ 2013 budgetrears electioneering fears
Budget,” an oshoot o the “Reorm Budget” o 011 and ResultsFocused Budget” o 01, the 013budget ultimately shows a propoor packaging but in act remainsunresponsive to the urgent socialneeds o the people and developmentrequirements o the country, according to multisectoral group BagongAlyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
Allocation or capital outlays,which include spending or theconstruction and repair o inrastructure, hiked by 15.7 percentrom P38.3 billion to P380 billion.However, higher spending does notnecessarily mean better service tothe people, said Kabataan PartylistRepresentative Raymond Palatino.Since the government has designated the Department o PublicWorks and Highways (DPWH) as theagency in charge o all inrastructureprojects, it has also become easieror corrupt ofcials to transact overpriced and other anomalous deals,explained Palatino.“Instead o talking to various lineagencies, politicians will now onlydeal with DPWH. One agency orthe spoils, onestopshop or corruption deals,” the youth solon said.Meanwhile, allocation or personal services, which covers salaries and benefts, went up by eightpercent, rom P1.465 to P1.6 trillionor 013. The budget increase, however, was due mainly to the implementation o the ourth tranche othe Salary Standardization Law, thestatemandated pay hike or government workers.The government will also go ona nationwide hiring spree next year,allotting P60.11 billion or 164,30vacant and new positions in government ofces. “This only meansthat, despite the Palace’s repeateddenials, [the government] did unnecessary underspending in thepast two years and now has theunds or a hiring binge in time orthe elections,” Palatino said.The budget or maintenance andother operating expenses o government ofces, also increased by17.5 percent to P313.3 billion. Debtservicing, meanwhile, will retaina huge share o the budget, withinterest payments amounting toP333.9 billion or 013.
No improvement in social services
Among government departments, the Department o Education received the highest allocation,
Decoding the issues behind the techy façade of eUP