DepEd, Comelec in talks regarding 2 shifts for teachers on election day

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2021 01:31 PM

Video courtesy of PTV

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) is in talks with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regarding the possibility of implementing 2 shifts for public school teachers who would serve on election day next year, an official said Tuesday.

This comes a day after the Comelec said it would likely extend voting hours in the 2022 elections to avoid crowding in polling precincts, a measure against the spread of COVID-19.

Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said there may be a need to implement 2 shifts for teachers serving as election officials so they would not be overworked on voting day.

"Eight hours o hanggang 10 hours lang siguro ang dapat ibahagi ng mga guro para sa ganoon, maayos ang kanilang pagsisilbi. Beyond those hours, medyo mahihirapan tayo at sobra na ang pagod nila," Pascua said at the "Laging Handa" briefing.

(Teachers should only allot 8 hours or up to 10 hours so they could serve properly on election day. Beyond those hours, we're going to have difficulties and teachers will be exhausted.)

"Kaya dini-discuss po natin kung may posibilidad ba na maging 2 shift din ang mga teacher nating magsisilbi," Pascua said.

(That's why we're discussing if there's a possibility to have 2 shifts for our teachers.)

In the same briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the commission also gave a "positive" response to the department's request to give higher pay and additional benefits to teachers who would serve as poll officials.

"Ang assurance nila (Comelec) ay sa kanilang budget for 2022, talagang i-propose nila ang aming mga requests," Briones said.

(Comelec's assurance is that they will propose our requests for inclusion in their 2022 budget.)

"Although there are also other matters na na-bring up namin which might also need the passage of laws," she said without citing which proposals needed legislation.

On Monday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers wrote to the Comelec, asking for a dialogue to discuss proposals to ensure "just compensation" and the "safety" of education workers who would serve in the elections.