Teachers, schools all set for 2018 village, SK polls

MANILA An official of the Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that teachers and schools nationwide are already prepared for the 2018 Barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

In a press briefing on Monday, DepED Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua said that many teachers have made the unselfish and patriotic choice of rendering valuable service to be at the forefront of safeguarding the sanctity of the ballot.

He said this is despite the fact that Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act (ERSA) is already in effect making public teachers' poll duties optional and mandatory.

He said he believes that the law was passed to address the honoraria and benefits, safety, security and general welfare of public school teachers, who will serve as chairperson and members of the Electoral Board.

Del Pascua said while the law already specified the honoraria amount to be received by teachers with poll duties, it can be reviewed every three years for the benefit of teachers doing poll duties.

Everyone can count on the department to work closely with (Commission on Elections) to strengthen and increase the benefits received by our teachers, he added.

The law states that the chair of the Electoral Board will receive PHP6,000 honorarium and PHP1,000 travel allowance while each member of the Electoral Board will be given PHP5,000 honorarium and PHP1,000 travel allowance.

Meanwhile, the DepEd supervisor of every poll precinct will receive PHP4,000 honorarium and PHP1,000 travel allowance; and the support staff will be given PHP2,000 honorarium and PHP1,000 allowance.

These rates are subject to tax but under discussion with Comelec that they should handle ng tax, Del Pascua said.

On top of the honoraria and allowances, he said teachers will be given service credits minimum of five days, PHP500,000 death benefits, PHP200,000 for medical assistance and PHP50,000 for legal indemnification package.

Del Pascua said DepEd will sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Comelec to ensure that the ERSA is observed for the teachers' honoraria, allowances and other benefits.

The MOA would also protect and promote the welfare of public school teachers, principals, supervisors and other employees of DepEd who will serve in the elections, he said.

Del Pascua added that DepEd will reinforce its Election Task Force and Monitoring Center to ensure that teachers and non-teaching personnel have adequate information and assistance technical and legal in the performance of their duties as members of the electoral board.

Dep Ed is set to release a video recorded orientation and training on ballot appreciation and general instructions for teachers who will be doing serving election duties. (With reports from Jomari Castigador, OJT/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency