MANILA, Philippines ? For thousands of teachers going on poll duty on Monday, reporting a complaint will be just a Facebook post, text or call away.
Teachers' organizations are tapping social media, text messaging and hotlines to watch out for each other on Monday, when some 450,000 teachers are expected to man polling precincts during the barangay (village) and youth council elections.
The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have separately set up hotline mobile phone numbers where teachers may text or call to report incidents of harassment, abuse, voting anomalies or any problem they may encounter while serving in Monday's elections.
TDC is also encouraging teachers to post incident reports on their Facebook page.
?Vigilance and proper coordination with the authorities and the media would help deter possible cases of fraud and violence this election. This is our own way of protecting teachers who are assigned to facilitate the precinct-level elections as members of Board of Election Tellers [BET] on Monday,? said TDC chairman Benjo Basas.
ACT will activate quick reaction teams to respond to incident reports from identified hotspots, said its secretary-general, France Castro.
?The job of serving in every election is always risky on the part of the teacher who serves as the Board of Election Teller or Inspector. While preserving the sanctity of the ballot and ensuring the fulfillment of clean, orderly and honest elections, he puts himself at the forefront of any possible threat to life. This he does despite the meager compensation that he gets,? Castro said.
TDC and ACT hotlines will begin receiving reports Sunday evening. TDC numbers are 0917 894 4625, 0921 380 8523, (02) 454 3571 and (02) 385 3437 while ACT hotline numbers are (02) 453 9116, 09178502124 and 09198198934.
The Department of Education has also created a task force to provide guidance and technical assistance to teachers who would man polling precincts on Monday.
In a memorandum dated October 14, DepEd said the task force would ?ensure that teachers shall be provided with adequae information, technical and legal assistance in the course of the performance of their duties as members of the Board of Election Tellers.?
The DepEd Election Task Force will be operational from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday, October 26.