Suffrage is an essential element in enabling the intent of every democratic government. It gives the people the authority to exercise their sovereignty by electing their representatives in the government, who will work for them in realizing their aspirations. This is the banner of a democratic republican state. However, suffrage is not a standalone concept for it must be partnered with free, orderly, honest, peaceful, credible and informed elections. This can be realized by the active participation of both the people and the government, hence DepEd’s role in elections is important.
I. EXTERNAL PARTICIPATION
1. Active participation of DepEd as government representative in the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) which was constituted and convened in preparation for the 13 May 2019 National and Local Elections (NLE) and among others, recommended the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be applied in the Automated Election System (AES):
2. Actively monitored the Mock Election held last 19 January 2019 in the National Capital Region which was held to simulate the conduct of electoral activities (deployment, voting, consolidation and canvassing until the transmission of results), to strengthen public awareness, confidence and acceptance on the Automated Election System (AES), and to test and ensure the security features, accuracy, functional capability and integrity of:
- Voter Registration Verification System (VRVS); Voting and Counting Machines (VCMs);
- Transmission Devices: and Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS);
3. Participation of DepEd in all coordinating conferences/ meetings with COMELEC, AFP, PNP and other NGOs in connection with the 2019 NLE and the Bangsamoro Organic Law |BOL) Plebiscite:
4. DepEd as partner and signatory to the ABS CBN News’ Halalan 2019 covenant to help ensure comprehensive, fair and accurate coverage of the 2019 NLE. The covenant signing is a tradition of cooperation among multiple sectors of society forged years ago for the 2010, 2013 and 2016 polls, which includes COMELEC, PNP, AFP, DFA, Manila Bulletin, NAMFREL, PPCRV, and other NGOs, academic institutions and professionals in the fields of law and Information Technology.
5. Signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DepEd and COMELEC which aims to protect and promote the welfare of the public school teachers, principals, supervisors, and other employees of DepEd who will serve during the 13 MAY 2019 National and Local Elections and to ensure that the law is observed with regard to their honoraria, allowances and other benefits.
6. Signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with COMELEC and other government agencies, private corporations and non government organizations for the promotion of emergency accessible polling places to ensure protection, first aid. provision of medications and vitamins, portable toilets, assistance and other sendees for all election workers, PWD voters, senior citizens and heavily pregnant voters: and
7. Strengthened the partnership with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in ensuring free legal assistance to public school teachers who serve as members of the Electoral Board (EB| in the event that harassment cases are filed against them by candidates/political parties.
II. INTERNAL PREPARATIONS
Conducted Regional Cluster Election Seminars to DepEd Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents and other field officials during the SIPAG 2019 (Synchroniser Instruction. Procedure and Guidelines) with reminders on electioneering and partisan political activities as well as other prohibited activities during elections;
1. Secured Exemptions from COMELEC on election ban on transfers and hiring of officials and employees of DepEd. and working for exemptions on the creation of items/positions, disbursement of public funds for school building program, as well as clarification on the procurement process during the election period:
2. Allocation of P50 million for election-related PAPs in the GAA 2019;
3. Ongoing efforts to make the honoraria of teachers who will serve as Electoral Board (EB) members, tax-exempt regardless of their income bracket (discussion with COMELEC En Banc);
4. Development of a Election Monitoring Application Software to be used by teachers to report incidents, issues and concerns encountered before, during and after elections:
5. Activation of the DepEd Election Task Forces (DepEd ETFs) in Central. Regional (5 members each) and Division Office (5 members each):
Ensure that public school teachers and non-teaching personnel and who will serve during the 13 May 2019 National and Local Elections shall be provided with adequate information, technical and legal assistance in the course of the performance of their duties as EB members, supervisor, support staff, and technical support staff:
Creation of Directory of the DepEd ETF members for this purpose, thus, all Regional Directors and Schools Division Superintendents are enjoined to submit a list of five (5) officials/employees who will compose its respective Election Task Forces, with their respective contact information:
6. Conduct of Orientation on DepEd ETF Operations, and Voters Education Training on the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and Voters Registration Verification System (VRVS) for the members of the DepEd ETFs in the Central. Regional and Division Offices and Public School District Supervisors (PSDS), in partnership with COMELEC Education and Information Division
- May 3-4. 2019. Cebu City for Visayas (Regions VI. VII. VIII. and IX)
- May 5-6. 2019, Baguio City for North Luzon (Regions I. II. Ill and CAR)
- May 7-8. 2019. Tagaytay City for South Luzon (Regions IV, v/MIMAROPA and NCR)
- May 8-9. General Santos City for Mindanao (Regions X. XI. XII. CARAGA and BARMM)
7. Mobilization of DepEd teachers, personnels and officials and preparation of schools as polling centers with the classrooms as voting precincts:
|Number of Schools used as Poll Ctrs||36,830|
|Number of Teachers as EBs||257,304|
|Number of Teachers Certified by DOST as IT Capable (only 2/EB)||161,019|
|Number of DepEd Teachers and Personnel deputized by COMELEC||526,686|
|Number of DepEd ETF Members at the CO. ROs and DOs||2,015|
|Number of Public Schools District Supervisors||2,606|
|Number of Officials, Teachers, and Personnel Mobilized||531,307|
III. FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION
1. Activation of and Re-establishment of the DepEd ETF Operation and Monitoring Centers (DEOMCs).
Provide a real time report/summan’ of incidents, issues and concerns encountered by public school teachers in the performance of their duties as EB members. This will be made possible through the monitoring application software which will be downloaded by all teachers sending the election: and
2. Re-establishment of the DepEd ETF Operations and Monitoring Center (DEOMC) at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan. Department of Education Central Office. Meralco Avenue. Pasig City starting 1:00 P.M. of 12 May 2019 and ends on 5:00 PM of 14 May 2019.
The DEOMC shall serve as DepEd s institution* volunteer organization individuals as well as agencies involved in the 2019 NLE.
IV. DEPED’S ROLE AS DEFINED BY COMELEC
COMELEC Resolution No. 10471 (Sec. 3) Deputization of Certain Departments under the Executive Branch in connection with the 13 May 2019 NLE. Under this resolution, the Department of Education shall have the following duties and functions:
1. Comply with and enforce all orders and instructions of the Commission relative to the Election duties and functions of its personnel:
2. Allow the use of public school buildings for election purposes:
3. Not to hold, during the election period, conferences, seminars or any school activity, which might interfere, restrict or prevent the performance of plebiscite/election duties of its personnel, except upon prior written authority from the Commission; and
4. Perform such other duties and functions which the Commission may prescribe from time to time.
COMELEC Resolution No. 10460 “General Instructions for the Electoral Boards (EBs) on the Process of Voting. Counting, and Transmission of Election Results in Connection with the 13 May 2019 National and Local Elections’* provides in detail the constitution, composition, and appointment of the Electoral Boards; use of the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs); the process of testing and sealing of the VCMs; and the voting, counting and transmission of election results.
Republic Act No. 10756 “Election Service Reform Act (ESRA)” mandates election duties shall no longer be compulsory to public school teachers. Thus, the order of preference for appointment to the EB are as follows:
Right of Preference
- Public School Teachers
- Private School Teachers:
- National Government Employees (excluding uniformed personnel of DND and PNP);
- Accredited citizen’s arms or other civil society:
- Any registered voter of the city or municipality of integrity and competence
Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) may be
- When the peace and order situation warrant:
- There are no other qualified, willing and available
Honoraria, Allowances and other Benefits of EB Members as per RA 10756
|Chairperson||P 6,000.00||P 1,000.00|
|Member||P 5,000.00||P 1,000.00|
|DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO)||P 4,000.00||P 1,000.00|
|Support Staff||P 2,000.00||P 1,000.00|
|DESO Technical Support Staff||P 2,000.00||P 1,000.00 and P 1,000.00 as Communication Allowance|
Note: Both honoraria and allowances are subject to 5% tax. The tax will range from P300.00 to P350.00. The TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law specifies that those with annual income below P250,000.00 will be tax exempt. These will be Teachers I and II. BIR requires the teachers to submit to the election officers a sworn declaration stating that they are employed as teachers with Salary Grade 11, depending on the step increment. They will submit that to the Election Officer who will validate the same, and if they are indeed exempted from tax, their honoraria and allowances will be given in full.
- Service Credits – five (5) days
- Other benefits”
- Death Benefits P 500.000.00
- Medical Assistance P 200.000.00
- Legal Indemnification Package P 50.000.00
- legal assistance:
- lawyer’s fees:
- indemnification for legal expenses incurred:
- other forms of legal protection
V. COMELEC’S PREPARATION AND ACTIVITIES FOR DEPED AND ITS TEACHERS, PERSONNEL AND OFFICIALS
- Conduct of Mock Elections in selected polling precincts nationwide last January 19. 2019 to test and assess the capa and readiness of the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) for 2019:
- Pilot tested the Voter’s Registration and Veri Management System (VRVMS) to selected polling precincts to determine whether it can further enhance the credibility of the voting process. 32.067 machines will be deployed in all precincts in Manila and Quezon City, and in specific municipalities in Pangasinan. Cavite, Cebu. Negros Occidental. Zamboanga del Sur. Davao del Sur and the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao:
- Voter’s Education Training for all the members of the Electoral Board who are composed of public school teachers conducted last March 2019:
- In partnership with the DOST, certification of public school teachers serving as members of the Electoral Board that they are fully qualified to operate the VCMs;
- Recruitment and training of DepEd personnel who are Information Technology capable as Technical Support Staff who will handle the technical aspects of the VCM. including repairs and troubleshooting:
- Improved the manner of payment of honoraria and allowances to DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel involved in the elections. Cash payments will be made by the Election officers instead of the cash cards used in the past:
- Conduct of refresher lectures, review and updates to public school teachers who were appointed as Electoral Board:
- Closely coordinated with the Department of Education in the preparation and selection of public schools that will be used as voting centers nationwide:
- Issuance of relevant COMELEC resolutions that are beneficial to the public school teachers serving as members of the Electoral Boards:
- Establishment of a Command Center to monitor the conduct of the elections from May 6, 2019:
- Conduct Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the VCMs from May 6-10. 2019 to check and evaluate its readiness and functionability for May 13. 2019: and
- Initiated efforts to partner with other government agencies and private entities to provide persons with disabilities, senior citizens and heavily pregnant voters, election workers and volunteer organizations all the necessary support and assistance, i.e. emergency accessible polling places, medical assistance, first aid, portable toilets, drinking water, among others.
VI. 2019 NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTION RELEVANT INFORMATION
Monday, May 13. 2019, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm:
The 2019 NLE shall be automated and will utilize the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) used in the 2016 National and Local Elections.
This election will also pilot the use of the 32.067 units of Voters Registration Verification Management System (VRVMs) on some locations selected by COMELEC. These VRVMs will automate the system of verifying voter registration at the polling precinct, instead of the printed copies of the Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL) but only in selected areas. In all other precincts nationwide, the EDCVL will still be used in verifying voter registration.
Areas where VRVMs will be piloted: Quezon City, Caloocan City, Manila, Cavite, Pangasinan, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Davao del Sur, Zamboanga del Sur and areas in the BARMM:
|Number of Registered Voters||61,843,750|
|Number of Established Precincts||389,703|
|Number of Clustered Precincts||85,768|
|Number of Voters per Precinct||1,000|
|Number of VCMs to be used||97,509|
|Number of VRVMs to be test piloted||32,067|
DepEd Participation and Preparations on the May 13, 2019 Elections