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University of the Philippines

Quezon City

IN RE: Approval of the Draft

Memorandum of Agreement
between the University of the
Philippines and the Smart
Communications Connectivity in
various UP Campuses System
Undersigned Honorable NEILL JOHN G. MACUHA, Student Regent, seeking
the kind indulgence of this Honorable Board to reconsider its decision on the Draft
Memorandum of Agreement between the University of the Philippines and the Smart
Communications, Inc. for provision of Wireless Communications Connectivity in
various UP Campuses System wide (the Memorandum)1, respectfully alleges that:

On 20 October 2014,2 President Alfredo Pascual and Chief

Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea representing UP and Smart
Communications, Inc., respectively, signed the Memorandum,
part of which reads, [c]ost of electricity for the WiFi Hotspots/
Access Points shall be for the account of the UNIVERSITY.3


The aforesaid provision refutes completely the facts represented

when this Honorable Board discussed the assailed Memorandum
on its 1301st meeting last 29 September 2014, as stated in the
official records, viz.


Regent Albarracin said that the MOA looked good but he

asked the cost of the MOA to UP. VP Zamora replied that

Summary of decisions, p. 10.

Report of the President, 1302nd Board of Regents meeting, p. 1.
Art. VI, Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

there was absolutely no cost to UP. There was a specific

provision in the MOA stating that if there is any use of
land in the University, a separate contract of lease shall
be executed and Smart shall pay.
xxx xxx xxx


President Pascual made it clear that they will not take

away the existing Internet services that UP provide and in
fact, there are efforts towards enhancing it further. He
clarified that Smart will be an alternative access that will
give option to UP constituents. The Smart network will be
more extensive than the DilNet because it will have more
coverage, which will improve the e-libraries. VP Zamora
added that since Smart will be using its own bandwidth,
effectively, the bandwidth of UP will also be expanded.
UP pays P22 million for the connectivity provided by
Preginet whereas with Smart, UP will not pay anything at
all. 4 (Emphases supplied);


The above-quoted provision of the signed Memorandum (Article

VI on Taxes and Fees) which obliges the University to pay for the
hotspots electricity costs is, without a shred of doubt, a charge
against the Universitys fund. Despite the repeated assurance
made in this Honorable Board, UP has to pay its cost for five (5)
years5 the period upon which the assailed Memorandum is
valid and enforceable, unless otherwise pre-terminated or further
extended by the signing Parties6;


Hence, this Honorable Board was deliberately misinformed and

utterly relied on false information as to the Memorandums cost
to the University when it decided to approve such;


Needless to say, at present, the University maintains wireless

connectivity in different campuses, such as the DilNet in UP
Diliman. Paying for the costs of another wireless connectivity on
top of an already existing service slims down further the already
insufficient budget allocated to the University;

Minutes of the meeting, p. 38;



The assurances made by President Pascual as to the

maintenance of the wireless connectivity presently existing within
UP campuses only during his incumbency7 is deficient and
upsetting as the Memorandum entered upon with Smart is valid
and enforceable until 2019,8 more than two (2) years after the
end of his term in 2017. Effectively, this leaves room for DilNet
and other existing services to be extinguished wholly, vice the
Smart wireless connectivity service;


The signed Memorandum is an added burden for the students as

they are charged on top of the Internet Fee they have already
paid upon enrolment. Likewise, students are forcibly asked to pay
for extra charges in order to access non-whitelisted websites for
faster internet connection a so-called alternative9 as the
existing wireless connectivity are poorly maintained and
inadequate. Worse, students may have to pay more if the existing
wireless connectivity is discontinued, in favor of the Smart
service, after the Presidents term;


We submit that it is the responsibility of the University to provide

credible wireless connectivity, but not at the expense of its users.
Existing services such as the DilNet need to be upgraded, not
replaced by yet another profit-driven service. Allotting the
amount intended for the electrical costs of the Smart service to
the upgrading and development efforts of the existing wireless
connectivity would be a better use of the Universitys already
insufficient funds. This is instead of asking the students to
shoulder the costs of operating either wireless services;


As the highest governing body of the University, it is incumbent

upon this Honorable Board to rectify this error of judgment based
on false information and one that puts the students and the
University at large at a disadvantage.

Supra 1 at 39. It reads:



President Pascual said that he can only confirm during his term that the administration
will continue to provide free Internet connectivity to various CUs. UP will continue to
pay for the DilNet in UP Diliman and other wireless networks in other CUs. The MOA
with Smart can be seen as an alternative available to students. (Emphasis supplied)
See note 5.
See supra text accompanying note 7.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, Undersigned respectfully moves, unto
this Honorable Board, to SET ASIDE and REVERSE its decision on the assailed
Other reliefs that are just and necessary are likewise prayed for.

Respectfully submitted.
17 November 2014, Quezon City.


Student Regent