THE Department of Education-Cordillera (DepEd-CAR) assured election duties for teachers during the May 2019 midterm elections particularly in the Province of Abra.
Georaloy Palao-ay, DepEd-CAR information officer, said despite previous denials by teachers to serve in a municipality of Kalinga during the last Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections due to security concerns, no request has been received by their regional office.
“We now have a new law not requiring teachers to serve during elections and although they are number one in the priority. If ever there would be teachers who would not want to serve, then we have the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BOIs) and tellers,” Palao-ay said.
During the previous elections, personnel from the Police Regional Office–Cordillera (PRO-COR) acted as BOIs in a municipality in Kalinga after teachers refused to serve for fear of their safety.
PRO-COR have coordinated with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to identify the areas where policemen could replace teachers as elections officers for the May polls if the need arises.
“When one of our higher ups visited us and met with our district supervisors who are usually tasked as BOI’s and tellers, he informed them of an increase in the honorarium of teachers, their insurances aside from the early release of their honorarium for the elections in May,” the information officer stated.
In its March 19 En Banc resolution, Comelec have identified the whole of Mindanao, Jones in Isabela, the municipality of Lope De Vega in Northern Samar, and the whole Province of Abra as an election hotspot, placing it under Comelec’s full control.
“I was with the district supervisor of Abra recently and according to him, there are still no election related violence in the province nor complaints coming from the teachers who will serve for the upcoming elections, same is true with other provinces in the region,” Palao-ay added.