THE Department of Education (DepEd) warned politicians not to bribe teachers who will render poll duties in the elections in May.
DepEd Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Tonisito Umali said teachers serving in the elections should not accept gifts or even food from the candidates to erase suspicion that they are being used by politicians.
“That should not be allowed. They [teachers serving as Board of Elections Inspectors (BEIs)]are prohibited by the law to accept gifts, incentives, or allowances during the election period and campaign period,” Umali told reporters.
The teachers, he said, are also prohibited from accepting food or snacks. In past elections, it had been a common practice for candidates, particularly local politicians, to provide meals to teachers.
Umali said the education department will provide food to the teachers serving as BEIs.
“We have a budget for that,” he noted.
For this year’s elections, public school teachers serving as BEIs will receive an honorarium of P4,500.
For the mid-term polls in 2013, teachers were given P3,000 and an additional P500 for testing and sealing and P500 for transportation if they are members of the Board of Election Inspectors.
The education department said public school teachers tapped for poll duty are ready.
“We will be submitting the list of our teachers who may serve as Board of Elections Inspector members. In the next couple of weeks or months they will be trained,” Umali said.
The Senate early this week approved on third and final reading the proposed Election Service Reform Act (ESRA) which seeks to make election service for public school teachers optional.