DepEd studying double shift for teachers' duty in 2022 polls
In this file photo taken in May 2018, teachers and poll clerks start tallying votes for the 2018 barangay and SK elections while poll watchers oversee the process at Araullo High School in Manila.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, file

DepEd studying double shift for teachers' duty in 2022 polls

(Philstar.com) - May 11, 2021 - 3:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — An education official on Tuesday said they are studying two shifts for teachers who will serve as poll workers in the 2022 elections.

The Commission on Elections on Monday bared that voting hours next year may be extended between 10 to 12 hours due to adjustments from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Laging Handa briefing, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua said plans for the move are on the table in their discussions with the poll body.

"We have included that in our consideration if it's possible to have two shifts," he said in Filipino. "We know that teachers should only render 8 to 10 hours. Beyond those, it will be difficult and very tiring for them."

Last month, DepEd said it requested to Comelec for an additional P3,000 in teachers' pay for their election-related duties. The agency also proposed provision for hazard pay, COVID-19 swab test and other health services.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones in the same briefing said they received positive response from Comelec who was "very sympathetic" on their request.

"Their assurance was they will include our proposal in their budget for 2022," she said in Filipino. "Although there are also other matters which we brought up that will probably need the passage of laws."

On Monday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said too that they wrote to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas for additional compensation on teachers.

The group's request was higher than what DepEd proposed, or P10,000 for electoral board chairpersons, P9,000 for members, P8,000  for supervisor officials and P7,000 for support staff.

ACT sought too for P2,500 food allowance covering meals on preparation days for the elections up to the counting of votes, as well as for teachers' travel costs.

"It is only just that Comelec properly compensates and takes into account the wellbeing of its poll workers," said Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general. "They are the backbone and frontliners of every election, and government must exhaust measures to guarantee they are being subjected to a fair labor environment and granted proper compensation." — Christian Deiparine

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