DepEd-12 deploys 17,000 teachers for mid-term polls

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) –Thousands of public school teachers in Region 12 are all set to perform poll duties in tomorrow’s mid-term national and local elections, with police personnel ready to assume their duty in case they will not show up, officials said Sunday.

Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd-12) director, said at least 17,000 public school teachers across the region will serve in the elections on Monday.

DepEd-12 is utilizing about 35 to 40 percent of the 42,600 teachers assigned in the region for the elections, he said.

File photo shows public school teachers performing poll duties during the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite in Midsayap, North Cotabato province on February 6, 2019. North Cotabato is part of Region 12. MindaNews photo by Bong S. Sarmiento)

“We have more than enough teachers to man the elections. We have reserve teachers in case some will not show up for various reasons,” Farnazo said.

Police Brigadier General Eliseo Rasco, Police Regional Office-12 director, said at least 200 police personnel have been trained by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), in case some teachers will not show up.

At least 9,300 police and military personnel have been deployed across Region 12 to render security during the elections, he said.

Farnazo said they started the deployment of teachers to remote precincts on Saturday along with the election paraphernalia, after completing the sealing of vote counting machines.

DepEd-12 also activated on Sunday noon a task group that will provide technical assistance and ensure the safety and welfare of the teachers performing election duties, Farnazo said.

The task group is composed of lawyers and Information and Communications Technology experts, he added.

Region 12 is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Data from the Comelec showed there are 2,431,265 registered voters in the region. (Bong S. Sarmiento /MindaNews)