Issue of February 3, 2019

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DepEd to create task forces for 2019 elections
by Georaloy I. Palao-ay

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Emphasizing the crucial role of the Department of Education in the upcoming 2019 national and local elections (NLE), DepEd officials held on Jan. 31 a consultation with public school district supervisors and Alternative Learning System (ALS) implementers in the region.

DepEd Usec. for Administration Alain del B. Pascua and Asec. for Procurement, Project Management, and Field Operations Revsee A. Escobedo briefed the participants on the creation of DepEd election task forces in the central office down to the district level and on the salient features of Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act of 2014 (ESRA).

The ESRA Law made election duties of public school teachers no longer compulsory and enumerated the honoraria, allowances, and benefits of those who will render election duties.

Benefits include five days of service credit; travel allowance of P1,000; P50,000 legal indemnification for legal assistance and other forms of legal protection; medical assistance in such amount as may be “sufficient to cover for medical and hospitalization expenses until recovery of injuries sustained while in the performance of election duties;” and P500,000 death benefit.

“This is the first time we are conducting an activity like this in preparation for orderly elections and we are piloting it here in the Cordillera,” Pascua said.

The consultation, which will be done nationwide, will also be an avenue for those in the ground to air their issues and concerns as well as the gathering of teacher or DepEd related reports experienced during the past elections to address the same this coming elections.

“We would like to get everything of these usual DepEd related reports or incidents and put them into a mobile application as a checklist of sorts to make incident reporting very easy, accessible, and real time,” Pascua said.

He added that an operations and monitoring center manned by the national office will receive and monitor such reports before, during, and after the elections.

The training of teachers, especially in the use of the vote counting machines, will happen in the coming months. 

Earlier, DepEd, the Commission on Elections, and the Department of Science and Technology signed a memorandum of agreement relative to the training of teachers who will serve in the midterm elections on May 13.

Escobedo said the movement of DepEd employees will not be affected by the 45-day ban set by Comelec.

The DepEd officials as well reiterated the call for teachers and personnel to veer away from electioneering and partisan politics.

The Department recently released DepEd Order 48, s. 2018, which identifies activities regarded as partisan political activities in accordance with existing rules and regulations promulgated by the Civil Service Commission and the Comelec.

Any DepEd official or personnel who commits any of the prohibited acts shall be dealt with in accordance with the Omnibus Election Code, the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, and DO 49, s. 2006 or the Revised Rules of Procedure of DepEd in administrative cases.

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