COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) reactivated recently an election response mechanism that ensures the welfare and security of public school teachers serving in the May 9 elections.
Dr. John Magno, DepEd-ARMM secretary said the DepEd-ARMM’s Election Response Network (DERN) was first launched in the ARMM in April 2013. This mechanism effectively provides technical and legal assistance to teachers in case of problems while performing as election officers.
Magno said the process includes the establishment of an Electronic Results Transmission Services at the division and municipal levels that will keep a directory of teachers’ names and their contact numbers.
It also assesses the security situation and threats to teachers serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs). The BEI serves as the panel that conducts the balloting process at the precinct level, Magno explained.
Operating with personnel from government agencies, specifically the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as well as monitors from the United Nations’ Children’s Educational Fund, teachers are better protected.
“It is important to protect the teachers because they are exposed to many dangers,” Alfhadar Pajiji, DepEd-ARMM assistant secretary for special projects said.
Out of over 26,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel in the region, Asec Pajiji said more than 4,000 will serve in the upcoming elections. He also reiterated that his office is still waiting for the final lists of the teachers from the public school district supervisors.
“The DepEd-ARMM mechanism is a big help to us teachers who will supervise polling precincts. At least with DERN, we know we are safe in the upcoming elections,” Apao Dirangaren, planning officer of Barira South District said.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10031, the chairperson and members of the BEIs will each receive P3,000 honorarium, P500 for the verification and sealing of the book of voters, plus P500 for transportation and another P500 allowance.
A support staff of the BEIs will receive a per diem of P500. A polling/voting center supervisor will get a per diem of P1,000 while a supervisor support staff will receive P500.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL