Tagum City— The Department of Education (DepEd) Tagum City Division has expressed hope that the upcoming elections will be peaceful and successful.
Cristy C. Epe, DepEd Tagum assistant officer-in-charge to the division superintendent, acknowledged the big role that teachers play in protecting the Filipinos’ votes during the past election events. She said teachers will continue to support the new voting process as May 10 marks the country’s first automated elections.
Epe said they intend to monitor schools which will be used as polling precincts and see to it that the lighting, facilities and the rooms are ready for elections. She added that DepEd conducted an education campaign to inform the public on how to vote in an automated election.
Teachers themselves received last January to February compact disks (CDs) that explained the new election system. On April 30, teachers had a 2010 DepEd Election Task Force training and orientation. Epe said this activity helped teachers familiarize themselves with their functions and obligations as DepEd Election Task Force. It was also a venue to sort out plans and activities to support the teachers’ continued advocacy for a clean and just election.
As additional good news, Epe announced that the International Bank of the Philippines (IBP) pledged additional volunteers on election day and provide assistance to teachers in monitoring and maintaining peaceful elections.
Gloria B. Subong, division English reading coordinator for the elementary level, meanwhile reported that the teachers’ role had evolved with the new automated election system. She said that fewer “unsung heroes” were called to serve. “(For the upcoming) automated elections, fewer teachers have been hired as BEIs (board of election inspectors). The numbers were slashed in half. If 500 were needed to serve as BEIs before, only around 200 were hired (this year).
Subong also cited that the requirements are different. She said BEIs for the 2010 elections have to be less than 40 years old and computer-literate. Teachers also have to pass Comelec trainings in order to qualify, Subong added. (PIA XI)