The Department of Education (DepEd) has created an Election Task Force (ETF) Operation and Monitoring Center to assist public school teachers and personnel with their duties during the May 9 polls.
The department said the creation of the ETF would help the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ensure “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible” national and local elections.
“The ETF will ensure that teachers and personnel are provided with adequate information, technical and legal assistance in the course of the performance of their duties as members of the Electoral Board. This will also serve as DepEd’s institutional link to volunteer organizations and individuals,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement on Friday.
According to DepEd Memorandum No. 10, s. 2022, Education Undersecretaries Alain Del Pascua and Revsee Escobedo were designated as DepEd ETF Operations and Monitoring Center chair and vice-chair, respectively.
The DepEd ETF will be established at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Central Office in Pasig City from May 8 to 10 to guarantee compliance with the enforcement of all orders and instructions relative to the election duties.
It will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All regional and schools and city division offices of the DepEd were authorized to create their own respective ETF Operations and Monitoring Centers on the same schedule.
“The regional directors and schools division superintendents are instructed to submit a list of five officials or employees who will compose its ETF, with their respective designation, position, salary grade, DepEd email address, and contact information,” Pascua said.
The DepEd said the grant of honoraria to officials and personnel who will render their services to their respective ETFs shall be subject to the existing rules and regulations.
“Payments of overtime pay or grant of compensatory time-off to qualified personnel in the central, regional, and schools or city division offices who will compose the DepEd ETF are authorized, subject to the availability of funds and existing auditing rules and regulations, as well as the pertinent civil service laws,” Pascua said.
In addition, nationwide orientations and training for members of the ETF will be organized.
"They will cover procedures on the use of digital signatures, enhancement and updates to the mobile monitoring application systems, COVID-19 protocols, do’s and don’ts before, during, and after the elections, and other election-related concerns," the department said.
Meanwhile, several teachers on Thursday appealed to the Comelec for the removal of the 20% tax on their election service honorariums.
The group said they have written twice to the poll body but it has yet to respond to their appeal.
Newly appointed poll commissioner George Garcia said he supported the teachers, but it would be up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to decide on the issue. — VBL, GMA News