September 26, 2020 (2:28 PM)

5 min read


ADVISORY. AdDU Academic Vice President Dr. Gina Montalan advised professors to be responsible in adjusting synchronous classes with regards to the emergency maintenance activities on trans-Pacific submarine cable system Asia-America Gateway (AAG) and its possible impacts to the University’s online classes. Photo by Jeni Anne Rosario

In response to the advisories of telecom companies of a five-day emergency maintenance, AdDU Academic Vice President Dr. Gina Montalan directed professors to be responsible in adjusting their synchronous classes during the period.

“As per our Primer on Academic Policies for Online Education, the bias of our online classes in the Higher Ed unit is on asynchronous learning in a hybrid online modality. Also, our server in the HEd is outside the services of PLDT line.  But in the event that a student internet connectivity is affected by the maintenance activity that was announced earlier by PLDT, then appropriate adjustments can be afforded to the student by the teacher when a synchronous class has been scheduled on the dates covered in the announcement made by PLDT,” Montalan said in her email response to the SAMAHAN.

Yesterday, the student government disseminated the said response to various class group chats via Facebook Messenger.

Before the resolution, however, Ateneans had expressed their concerns regarding the maintenance, as they might not have internet connection to do their academic tasks.

AdDU political party Ateneans for Governance, Innovation, Leadership, and Service (AGILAS) called for class suspension during the five-day maintenance period since “still it does not give assurance for students to continue in their daily online classes.”

“The already problematic internet situation in the Philippines, exacerbated by the on-going repairs of internet providers could disrupt the learnings of the students,” their statement read.

Some schools like University of Mindanao, San Pedro College, and Malayan Colleges Mindanao had already declared class suspension as a response to the downtime.

The AdDU Senior High School opted for “Independent Learning Time” for subjects until Wednesday next week.

Despite the assurance of telecom giant PLDT for a ‘continued internet connectivity’ during the emergency maintenance activities on trans-Pacific submarine cable system Asia-America Gateway (AAG), students Jessica Quibod of Accountancy and Nicolo Langahid of Entrepreneurship shared that they were not convinced of PLDT’s assurance.

For them, they can not be assured of having continued internet connection because PLDT’s internet is usually slow even without maintenance and would expect that the situation would further deteriorate during the upkeep.

“It will affect my learning kay magslow ang quality ng net so I can’t access maybe mga recorded videos na need [for] formative assessments next weekend, so magkara-kara [siguro] talaga ako once na maayos na net,” Quibod said.

Knowing the PLDT advisory and in fear of losing internet connection during the maintenance period, Quibod told Atenews in an online interview she already downloaded the files to study this weekend.

Langahid said that downloading any learning material is already his habit because of the possibility of having no internet connection and would be more incentivized to do so after finding out about the news.

“For tasks, [however], I’m afraid that some of the tasks would have to be put on hold since I rely on the internet to complete those tasks ie. research, group discussions, etc.,” Langahid pointed.

AdDU professor Alfie Anthony Neodama mentioned that since he and his students have almost completed the remaining topics for his subject, skipping a class or two is not a problem.

“A week ago, I scheduled an online exam this coming Monday and Tuesday. When I learned about the advisory, I decided to move the exam later next week,” he said.

Along with PLDT-Smart, other internet providers such as Sky Fiber and DCTech also announced that its subscribers may experience slow internet connection due to AAG cable system emergency maintenance activities.

It was announced to start repairs on September 25, 8 AM. In an updated advisory via Facebook post last September 24, PLDT said that the maintenance period will begin from September 26, 9 AM to September 30, 5 AM. 

“We have identified alternative cable systems to keep our connectivity resilient.  We have also adopted measures such as traffic rerouting and local caching, ensuring that most frequently downloaded content is located in the Philippines,” the statement read.

PLDT also stated it has invested substantially in expanding and boosting the capacity of its existing and new international submarine cable systems: Jupiter Cable and Asia Direct Cable Systems to ensure continuous service in situations like this.

“Should there be internet traffic spike beyond the traffic of the past weeks, some slowing down in the busiest hours for traffic going to Asia may be experienced, but no service will be denied, and internet traffic within the Philippines and to the US will not be impacted,” PLDT added.

According to, the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) is a 20,000km and the first submarine cable system linking South East Asia directly with the USA, that provides connectivity between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the US West Coast.

In Sunstar Davao’s Facebook post, PLDT is among the 19 telecommunication industry players which signed an agreement on April 27, 2008 for the laying down of AAG. Currently, submarine cables are the backbone of internet connectivity around the globe.

End the silence of the gagged!

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