Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! - ALADIN M. SUEDE

Teachers and other em­ploy­ees of the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, who will serve as board of can­vassers – get ready.

There is an ad­di­tional P50 mil­lion bud­get for the DepEd this year, be­cause of the up­com­ing May mid-term elec­tions, and for the pro­vi­sion of se­cu­rity to all DepEd per­son­nel dur­ing elec­tions.

The funds are a new bud­get item given to DepEd’s Elec­tion Task Force after the national bud­get de­lib­er­a­tion. DepEd em­ploy­ees who serve as board of can­vassers dur­ing the elec­tions will re­ceive hon­o­raria or pay­ment of the ser­vice which comes from Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions' (Com­elec) bud­get.

DepEd, how­ever, did not get fi­nan­cial sup­port for the clean­ing and main­te­nance of schools which are used as polling precincts in the past. Re­gional di­rec­tors, su­per­in­ten­dents, non-teachers were al­ways on guard be­cause schools are used dur­ing the elec­tions.

Now, the ad­di­tional P50 mil­lion in funds will be used for main­te­nance, and pro­tect all the fa­cil­i­ties and prop­er­ties of the schools, ac­cord­ing to the DepEd.

Ear­lier, the DepEd ex­pressed con­fi­dence that teachers would be paid for their ser­vice dur­ing the elec­tions, re­spond­ing to con­cerns ear­lier raised by the Com­elec about the pos­si­bil­ity of govern­ment oper­at­ing on a re-en­acted bud­get un­til elec­tion time.

Elec­tions, after all, are pro­vided un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, and it is part of our demo­cratic sys­tem – there is no de­bate about that.

Mean­while, the DepEd also cau­tioned all of­fi­cials, teach­ing and non-teach­ing per­son­nel of the agency against elec­tion­eer­ing and en­gag­ing in any par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. They have been re­minded to strictly ob­serve the pe­ri­ods of cer­tain pro­hib­ited acts in con­nec­tion with the 2019 mid-term polls.

Ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion, no of­fi­cer or em­ployee in the civil ser­vice shall en­gage, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, in any elec­tion­eer­ing or par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal cam­paign.

DepEd said the same ap­plies to of­fi­cials, teachers, and em­ploy­ees. DepEd must main­tain its fo­cus on non-par­ti­san pub­lic ser­vice and re­main a bea­con of in­tegrity in these times.

--oOo— The au­thor is Teacher III at Bene­dicto El­e­men­tary School, Florid­ablanca, Pam­panga

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