National Elections


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AVE party-list hits COMELEC on possible shortage of teachers in May polls

Press Release
Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE)
March 23, 2007

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Party-List expressed its disappointment over possible shortage of poll workers this coming elections following reports that there are teachers who will not be able to man polls.

In a statement, AVE Party-list Representative Eulogio "Amang" R. Magsaysay disclosed although the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) filed a resolution allowing teachers to transfer their registration in areas where they will serve as election officers, this does not totally solve the problem.

"COMELEC has issued Resolution 7833 allowing our fellow teachers to transfer their registration in areas where they will serve in elections yet we have been receiving reports that many of our teachers are no longer registered to vote (registered voters)," Magsaysay said.

The problem lies with the fact that there teachers who have been deactivated from the list of registered voters because of not being able to vote in the last two previous elections.

Just recently, COMELEC issued a statement that it would 'reactivate' the voters' registration of teachers to enable them to transfer their respective registration and be able to man polls.

"We could have avoided this if the authorities concerned looked into this matter beforehand," the party-list solon said. "But since we are barely two months before elections, we just need to move on and unite to safeguard the votes of our fellowmen."

At the same time AVE Party-list has expressed its concern over reports that there are teachers who are filing vacation leave just in time for the May elections.

"This is a clear manifestation that our teachers can no longer bear the weight of election duties imposed on them," Magsaysay stated. "If these reports are true, we cannot blame our teachers since their primary role is to teach and not to be election officers, in the first place."

Under the Omnibus Election Code, it is still the legal mandate of public school teachers to render service during elections. That is why AVE has long been lobbying against the exploitation of teachers during elections by filing bills and resolutions on making such service voluntary and not mandatory since there are other sectors that could be equally honest and truthful when it comes to safeguarding the ballots.