By Merlina Hernando Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Tuesday teachers who rendered poll duties helped make the midterm elections peaceful and orderly.
DepEd Undersecretary for Administration and Election Task Force (ETF) Chairman Alain Del Pascua said that based on the latest reports from the teachers, the midterm elections “went well” and was generally smooth.
Based on the latest data from the ETF Monitoring Center, over 26,000 reports came in from teachers as members of the Electoral Board. “We can say that our teachers have provided us with ample reports to give us a situation where generally, we can declare that it is peaceful and orderly,” he said.
Pascua said DepEd has provided teachers different options and ways on how to report the situation on the ground to the central office and to the different regions and divisions.
Teachers and other personnel who rendered poll service were given at least five options to report: through email, by landline call, sending fax, via text messages/SNS/ calls and through the use of the new DepEd Mobile Monitoring App.
To DepEd’s surprise, there was a huge turnout from the participants – not just from the teachers themselves but also from other personnel of the department. “Almost everyone has been reporting using this app because it is made easier, we just have to improve the system,” he said.
“With this election, we have found a very powerful monitoring tool,” Pascua said. The monitoring app, he said, will help empower and give opportunity to teachers “to be heard on what they are experiencing in the ground.”
Pascua said that through the monitoring app, there is a “good sign that our teachers are also working on the ground – their duties in the election – by reporting to the agency “what they are experiencing there.” DepEd is now looking at this “kind of platform to be used not only during election but also during the monitoring of projects and programs and even by major activities” of the department.
For Pascua, the number of reports generated from the new mobile monitoring app of DepEd has been unprecedented. “This is by far a very surprising and amazing reporting because last election, we only had less 500 reports using the old ways of reporting,” he said.
As of 6:04 p.m. on May 13, data from DepEd ETF showed that 24, 546 reports came from 20, 625 teachers serving as Electoral Board and 5, 924 DepEd officials and other personnel as ETFs/Public Schools District Supervisors (PSDS)/DepEd Supervisor Officials (DESO) in the polling centers.
Pascua confirmed one report of a heat stroke that happened in Caraga, Surigao de Norte. DepEd said that the “teacher is now okay” after receiving first aid treatment.