ACT insists thousands of teachers still on poll service 2 days after elections

Pacpaco Integrated School – PES. Contributed Photo

MANILA – As of 12:19 PM Wednesday, there are 3,253 Vote-Counting Machines (VCMs) that are still pending transmission. Such figure is also equivalent to about 10,000 teachers who are rendering nearly 60-hours straight of election service, According to ACT monitoring groups.

“This is unacceptable! While COMELEC is already declaring a ‘generally successful elections’, thousands of teacher-poll workers have not left their assigned precincts since as early as 2 AM on May 13,” lamented Raymond Basilio, Secretary General of ACT Philippines.

ACT Hotline has documented reports of such from the following:
4 Barangays in Capalonga Camarines Norte (Brgys. Ubang, San Roque, Villa Aurora, and Tanauan)
4 Barangays in Rosario, La Union (Brgys. Bani, Parasapas, Tanglad, and Gumot)
1 precinct in Poblacion, San Manuel, Tarlac
Pacpaco Elementary School, San Manuel, Tarlac
Villa Aglipay, San Jose, Tarlac
4 precincts in Las Navas Northern Samar
Sta. Cruz Municipality, Davao City
11 precincts in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur

Basilio explained that electoral board members have reported that due to faulty SD cards and other technical errors, electoral board members are obliged to stay with the VCMs until the issues have been resolved and transmission has been completed. After transmission, teacher-poll workers will turn over the election results to the City Hall and only then will they be able to come home.

“We call on the concerned agencies to give justice to the immeasurable sacrifice of teacher-poll workers. At the minimum, they shall ensure that all those who rendered extended poll service due to COMELEC’s inefficiency be properly compensated and provided additional service credit. They have been denied their much-needed and deserved rest. Maawa naman kayo sa mga guro,” urged Basilio.

“Once again, teachers are suffering the consequences of state incompetence and neglect. Nearly every issue that arose pre-, during, and post-election are matters that are not unavoidable or unprecedented. In fact, many of which we already encountered in the past 3 automated elections,” Basilio said.

ACT called COMELEC ‘inutile’ for only getting worse after several automated elections, for consistently failing to address the ‘same old problems’.

The group also declared the 2019 national and local elections as one of the most unprepared, disorderly, and dirty elections.

“We demand accountability from the COMELEC and the State for the problematic conduct of the midterm polls,” Basilio called. []


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