ACT OPENS HOTLINE FOR POLL WORKERS
THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers launched a hotline for election-related issues and concerns of public school teachers who will serve in the board of election inspectors.
The hotline can be accessed via mobile numbers <0961 421 5053> and <0967 446 1266>; email <[email protected]>; and facebook <https://facebook.com/actph1982>.
Among the issues that may be reported are compensation concerns; violations of the provisions of the Election Service Reform Act; and rights and safety concerns in the performance of duties before and during the elections on May 9, 2022.
“As with every elections, we are again opening our lines for our public school teachers who may experience various issues in the course of the election period. It’s no secret that teachers who are at the frontlines of every election face several issues from compensation to malfunctioning machines, and even threats to their own welfare and safety—these are expected to be exacerbated by the current health and socio-economic crises,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.
Since May 2021, ACT has urged the Commission on Elections, Department of Education and Congress to provide fair compensation to BEIs and prepare ample medical and legal support in light of the pandemic.
Instead of the proposed P10,000 pay, the Comelec approved a P7,000 honorarium for a BEI member.
Basilio pressed the group’s call for a Covid19 allowance for poll workers.
ACT said it received reports on concerns regarding the registration processes of BEIs and several repressive and discriminatory orders from officials at the local level.
“Our teacher-unionists are among the most patriotic within our sector, proven by their consistent struggle for the upholding of constitutional and democratic rights and liberties. So, it’s no surprise that they have chosen to serve in the elections despite the risks and poor incentives. Instead of recognizing and amplifying the significant voices of educators in the election season—especially at the time when there is an onslaught of fake news and disinformation—DepEd and Comelec opted to silence them. This needs to be addressed by top officials as soon as possible,” Basilio said.
“As early as now, we are warning the Comelec and DepEd: it is their foremost duty to ensure that their own policies do not violate the constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of their frontliners, and that these are properly implemented by their local representatives. That’s the very least they can do. Ensure teacher-poll workers’ rights and welfare as they put their own lives on the line in order to protect the sanctity of votes and ensure the proper conduct of the national elections,” he added.