Melo says automation to benefit teachers
() - June 20, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo said yesterday fully automated 2010 local and national elections will primarily benefit the teachers who supervise the polls.

“With automation, we will drastically minimize the impact of human intervention in the process. Teachers serving on the Boards of Election Inspectors (BEI) will not have to stay up – and stay under tremendous pressure – as long as they used to, thereby minimizing the risk to them,” he noted.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, public school teachers are required to act as BEI that supervises precinct-level electoral process or from voting to counting.

Various teacher’s groups, particularly the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, have long been requesting to be “liberated” from this duty, citing delayed release of their allowances and harassment by candidates and their supporters.

In the 2007 polls, a teacher in a school in Batangas was burned to death when a group of armed men attacked a poll precinct. 

In some cases, teachers were sued by losing candidates who claimed that they manipulated the elections to favor their rivals.

Melo said the participation of teachers would be minimized when the electoral process is sped up by automation.

“With the precinct level counting done within an hour, and results available within 36 (hours), we will see an electoral exercise unprecedented in the rapidity with which our people will know who the winners will be,” he added.

With the automation, voters will choose their candidates by shading with pencil the oval corresponding their names. The ballots will be fed into machines that will count them automatically.

After this, the ballots will be transmitted to the Muni-cipal Board of Canvassers for canvassing and then sent simultaneously to the Provincial Board of Canvassers and the Comelec central office.

“The 2010 elections is coming up fast, and the Filipino nation is looking forward to it, quite possibly with more anticipation than any of us can imagine,” Melo maintained. – Sheila Crisostomo

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS BATANGAS BOARD OF CANVASSERS BOARDS OF ELECTION INSPECTORS COMELEC JOSE MELO MELO MUNI PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS AND THE COMELEC SHEILA CRISOSTOMO UNDER THE OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE
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