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Teachers on election duties to be insured, secured

/ 05:04 AM April 11, 2013

Education Secretary Armin Luistro: We do not need dead heroes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Some 240,000 public school teachers who will serve as election inspectors in the May 13 elections have been assured that they will be insured, secured and assisted by lawyers from “harassment suits.”

Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Wednesday signed formal agreements with the agencies charged with addressing the main concerns of the public school teachers who are to be deputized during the elections.

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He said that under the agreement with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), teachers will be getting their P3,000 honorarium on time through their ATM payroll accounts.

Election-related deaths

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At the signing ceremony held at the Department of Education (DepEd) main office on Wednesday, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body may decide to give the teachers and other deputized personnel more if it has savings left over after the elections.

The Comelec has a P30 million fund for election-related deaths and injuries among deputized personnel.

In case of death while on election duty, a teacher’s heirs will get P200,000.

The DepEd also entered into a separate agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the protection and security of the teachers.

Soldiers and policemen have been deputized to jointly secure polling precincts.

Luistro advised teachers who do not feel secure in their assignment in election hotspots to notify the education department.

Heroic sacrifices

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“Our teachers are used to making heroic sacrifices. But we do not need dead heroes. So if they feel their lives are in peril, they should write to us and we will inform Comelec,” Luistro said.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has committed to give free legal assistance to teacher-election inspectors who may be sued by losing candidates.

Every election, about 100 teachers find themselves charged before the Comelec by losing candidates accusing the teachers of having violated  election rules.

Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca cited a case involving a losing barangay (village) captain candidate who sued the entire board of election inspectors over a “minor” matter. The losing candidate alleged the teachers failed to list the names of the late voters.

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TAGS: Elections, Philippines, safety of teachers, Security, Teachers
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