Be vigilant; prepare schools for election day, DepEd tells teachers
Pasig City (6 May) -- Education Secretary Mona D. Valisno directed all teachers manning the polls and division superintendents who are members of the board of canvassers to be vigilant and to prevent any attempt to manipulate or engineer the results to benefit any particular candidate or party.
"Amidst talk of failure of elections, bribery, and even election manipulation, the DepEd must not and will not be a party to any attempt to subvert the will of the people," she said.
"We must not give hope to those who wish the elections to fail. At this crucial time in our nation?s history, failure is not an option. Having been given the task to man the polls, our teachers must do their duty with honesty and integrity," she added.
She warned teachers not to be tempted. "Election day is the greatest test for a teacher. If you do not tolerate cheating by your students during quizzes and exams; then you should place yourself under the same standard. The whole country is watching us. Let us not fail them," she explained.
She said that it is duty of any DepEd employee to report any attempt to influence or coerce them to the DepEd election task force or to the proper authorities.
DepEd has organized election task forces from the division to the national level to assist teachers in fulfilling their duties on election day.
"Our National Election Operations Center headed by Undersecretary Franklin Sunga will be open round the clock on election day to respond to queries from BEI members and to receive reports of fraud which we will immediately report to the COMELEC and to the proper authorities," she added.
She said that teachers should observe the three elements of election preparedness to ensure "Clean Elections."
The first element is proper and adequate training. "We have succeeded in doing that. Under the supervision of COMELEC, all members serving as BEI members have completed the training course on automated elections."
"The second element is to prepare the school premises which will serve as election precincts. That means removing all campaign materials that have suddenly proliferated against established DepEd policy. No campaign material should be allowed to remain before election day" she said.
She said that the third element is to coordinate security arrangements with COMELEC and the police in securing the schools. "The PCOS machines must be secured at all times, so that there will be no suspicion of irregularities or tampering," she said.
As per instruction of Sec. Valisno, DepEd has issued a 9-point guideline that must be observed by all teachers and officials serving on election day.
The guidelines are the following:
- Respect and defend the sanctity of the ballot.
- Honor you oath and duty as teacher in ensuring a free, honest, and clean
- Perform your duties to the best of your ability as mandated by law with honor and integrity.
- Preserve the integrity of the teaching profession by being a role model among all civil servants by not engaging directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity except to vote.
- Maintain utmost impartiality and neutrality in exercising your functions.
- Refuse any form of bribe or influence from any politician or party.
- Report to higher authorities any attempt to use force or violence or intimidation in order to manipulate the results of the elections.
- Recognize the elections as a crucial stage for change and transition for the welfare of our country and the future of our children.
- Perform your functions with utmost dedication and professionalism as your service to God, people and country.
Secretary Valisno has called all Regional Directors and Schools Division Superintendents of Metro Manila to a meeting precisely to explain to them the 9-point guideline that must be observed. (DepEd) [top]