The shortage of public school teachers willing to serve in the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on May 14 is only in Bacolod City, there is no problem in the rest of Negros Occidental, Provincial Elections Supervisor Jessie Suarez said yesterday.
In fact, Comelec offices in some towns and cities already have complete lists of members for their Electoral Boards and Barangay Boards of Canvassers for the May 14 polls, Suarez said.
Bacolod Election Officer Mavil Majarucon-Sia said Bacolod needs 2,538 teachers to serve as members of the Electoral Boards and Barangay Boards of Canvassers, but so far, only 50 percent of that number have signed up for poll duty.
The deadline to constitute the boards is February 12, she said.
Republic Act 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act, makes election duties non-compulsory for public school teachers.
Suarez said he is appealing again to the teachers to consider serving in the May 14 polls their patriotic duty.
However, he said, if the posts for Electoral Boards and Barangay Boards of Canvassers are not filled by the teachers, the Comelec can tap the services of other government employees, private school teachers and citizens of known probity and integrity.
“We can always conduct a job fair”, Suarez also said.
The Bacolod teachers who have not signified their intention to serve in the May 14 polls are citing the lack of legal assistance in case suitsare filed against them in connection with their electoral duties, the delay in the release of their honorariums, and the call for the extension of their service credit days, he said.
Suarez said these are policy matters that would have to be addressed by their head office
Suarez said the honorariums set for the heads of the electoral boards is P6,000 plus transportation allowance, and for the members P5,000 plus P1,000 for transportation.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said that in peaceful areas like Bacolod, he sees no problem with the Comelec's finding volunteers for poll duties.*CPG
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