QUEZON CITY, May 9, 2018 – The Department of Education (DepEd), together with other government agencies, announced its readiness for an orderly and peaceful conduct of the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections where some DepEd personnel will volunteer to render poll duties.
Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua highlighted the efforts of the Department to ensure the safety of teachers during the National Day of Prayer, Declaration of the State of Readiness, and Signing of Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) held on May 7 at the Philippine National Police Multi-Purpose Hall, Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“Kami po ay nakahanda na para sa darating na halalan sa Mayo 14… More than 300 DepEd personnel and officials will give support to our teachers who will serve in the local elections, through our Election Task Force (ETF) and Monitoring Center,” Pascua underscored.
“Ito pong task force na ito ay gagawin din sa bawat rehiyon, hindi lamang sa ating Central Office, upang masiguro na ang ating mga kaguruan ay kaagarang mabibigyan ng sapat na impormasyon at ng technical and legal assistance kung kinakailangan,” he further stated.
The DepEd ETF and Monitoring Center will be reactivated from May 13 to 15 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd-Central Office in Pasig City. Likewise, regional and division offices are encouraged to set up their respective ETF and monitoring centers.
During the same event, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and DepEd signed the MOA which aims to protect and promote the welfare of DepEd personnel on the conduct of local elections, and to ensure that the law, in regard to their honoraria, allowances, and other benefits, is properly observed.
Recently, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones appealed to COMELEC that teachers who opt to render their time, energy, and safety to ensure the integrity of the ballot must not be encumbered by tax on their meager allowance.
Furthermore, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde announced that they will also put up a national task force which will provide “strategic directions to all police operations with regard to all election related programs and activities.”
“We are also conducting regional inspections to check the operational readiness of our men on the ground… We want to maintain our best practices during the 2016 national elections and do even better security operations for this barangay and SK elections,” he added.
Other agencies and organizations present at the event were the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Philippine Red Cross, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).