TEACHERS who will render poll duty in the May 2010 presidential elections are expected to get a total of P4,300 compensation, officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Election (Comelec) said Thursday.

This was disclosed by Education Secretary Jesli Lapus following the signing of memorandum of agreement between the DepEd and the Comelec last Wednesday.

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“Our teachers need to be fully compensated as they perform central roles in this political exercise." Lapus told reporters after the MOA signing.

He said that the teachers’ training for the automated elections will officially start on March 2010.

The MOA event is part of a series of cumulative measures to ensure clean, honest, and peaceful elections. The upcoming elections will be the country’s first nationwide automated elections. 

Under the MOA, teachers who will render poll duties and act as members of the Board of Election Inspectors, including the chair, will get P3, 000 each and P300 transportation allowance.

Another P500 will be given for the inspection, verification, and sealing of book of voters plus another P500 for the inspection, verification, and sealing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS).

Likewise, team leaders (school heads, principals and education supervisors who are not members of the BEI) who will supervise certain precincts will also receive P3, 000.

 

Janitors and messengers who will be assigned in certain precincts during the elections  will get P1,500 while  members of board of canvassers in the municipal, city and provincial levels will get P5,000.

 

Lapus said 280, 000 teachers and non-teaching staff will perform election election-related duties in May.

During the previous elections, more than 500,000 personnel were required to man the voting precincts and manually count the votes.

Public school teachers are required by law to sit as members of the BEI. The manual system of elections has, for decades, required them to stay at the precincts until the wee hours of the morning following the elections, and to return to poll duties for the next two or three days, to finish tallying the votes.

 

DepEd Undersecretary for legal affairs, Franklin Sunga added that Comelec will also set aside P30M as part of the teacher compensation deal.

This amount will be allotted for election-related death or injuries that may be sustained by DepEd employees in the performance of their duties. The heirs of the deceased official/employee shall be given the amount of P200,000.

Also present in the signing are the different teachers' group including the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), and the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (Assert).

Other DepEd officials from all regions and Comelec officials were also present during the MOA signing which was held at the Bulwagang Karunungan, DepEd Central Office, Pasig City in simple ceremony.

 

The whole day program also served as the start of teachers’ orientation on General Instructions for Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), briefing on the use of PCOS machines.

TDC national chairman Benjo Basas reiterate his appeal for the training of teachers adding that though they are resigned to the March schedule of the Comelec, most of the teachers, especially from the provinces are apprehensive of the poll automation technology.

But Comelec chairman Jose Melo assured the teachers they are on top of the situation adding that the March schedule for the start of the teacher training is just right.

He also said the automation process will not expose the teachers to long hours of work nor to harassment by losing candidates.  (AH/Sunnex)