MANILA – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte rallied for the protection of teachers as the country is set to conduct the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls next month.
Duterte underscored the importance of teachers in the successful conduct of the elections as the Department of Education, the Commission on Elections, and the Public Attorney’s Office signed a memorandum of agreement Monday afternoon.
“We hope that teachers who will serve in the elections will be protected from harassment, intimidation, and other forms of threats to their lives,” Duterte said.
The MOA will provide a system to ensure teachers serving as members of the Electoral Board and other DepEd personnel involved in the electoral process will receive legal assistance.
Anchored on the desire to fully implement the provisions of Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, the MOA was signed by Duterte, Comelec Chair George Erwin Garcia, and PAO Chief Persida Acosta at the Comelec office in Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros.
Teachers tasked to serve during the elections expose themselves and their families to the dangers of being intimidated, harassed, or even killed, as violence often flares up between warring politicians.
Despite these, teachers continue to serve in the elections out of their commitment, courage, and love of country, the Vice President said.
“This is purely because of their love of country,” Duterte said.
Duterte emphasized the important role of teachers in the successful conduct of the elections, calling them the frontline government representatives who will ensure the smooth flow of the election process.
“Hindi po mangyayari ang isang eleksyon kung walang mga guro,” she said.
“We owe them our gratitude, assistance, protection, and legal support,” she added.
She also called on the Comelec to release the allowances of teachers serving in the elections on time.
Duterte was grateful to the Comelec and PAO for the initiative that showed their concern for the safety and welfare of teachers.
She thanked the Comelec and PAO for their commitment to working closely with respect, transparency, and cooperation as she reminded them “that an election is more than just a process but a declaration of our collective aspirations as a nation.”
“The Filipino people deserve nothing but the best,” she said.
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