PASIG CITY, May 13, 2019 – The Department of Education (DepEd), through its re-activated Election Task Force (ETF) operation and monitoring center, monitored the reports from its teachers and personnel who served in the 2019 national and local elections .

After casting her vote at Don Jose Heights Covered Court in Quezon City today, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones headed to the DepEd ETF operation monitoring center at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd-Central Office in Pasig City, and shared her voting experience and reported on the elections during a press conference.

“I hope that the precinct where I voted, bumuboto ako doon for the past 30 years, is reflective also of what is happening in other precinct na generally peaceful, generally well-managed. Nandoon ang aming mga DepEd people, nandoon ang security forces sa labas kasi hindi naman sila makalapit. Tsaka talagang handang-handa,” Briones stated.

Reporting through election monitoring app
The Secretary also emphasized the benefits of using the DepEd election monitoring application, which enabled DepEd teachers and personnel to immediately coordinate with the DepEd Central Office, and report various concerns on elections.

“Obviously the app is faster and more efficient and it’s automatic. You don’t have to write very long reports because checklist lang ‘yon ng particular situations,” Briones explained.

Undersecretary for Administration and ETF chairperson Alain Del Pascua reported that as of 10:57 a.m. today, incidents including four injuries, three harassments, two legal complaints and two unruly watchers were immediately reported, and are currently being addressed.

Demonstrating the DepEd election monitoring app results on a screen, ETF Operations and Legal Support Head, Atty. Marcelo Bragado Jr., explained how the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) acts on the said results: “Because this app is directly shared with COMELEC, they already explained why there exists a discrepancy in the training conducted for Electoral Board members. We have 257,000 Electoral Board members and only 171,000 were trained, meaning two out of three Electoral Board members were trained. Those who are at the bottom polls are those who were not trained by COMELEC. That’s how fast COMELEC acts on our concerns. This only proves that the DepEd monitoring app is truly effective because COMELEC quickly responds to our concerns, especially those which are alarming.”

Pascua also mentioned that though there are other options for sending concerns on elections such as email, fax, SMS, and calls, reporting through the mobile app is faster and more convenient.

“As of 1:18 p.m. today, the total number of DepEd teachers and personnel who use the said application is around 20,557. We are quite surprised, aside from the mobile app, we are only receiving minimal reports from the old ways, mga less than 20 lang ang pumapasok compared to the mobile app where we received more than twenty thousand, ganoon kabilis kaya nagbago bigla ‘yung ways of reporting,” Pascua underscored.

Agreements for teachers’, personnel’s welfare
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Finance Service and Education Programs Delivery Unit Annalyn Sevilla talked about the two Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) of DepEd with COMELEC and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Sevilla shared that in a MOA between DepEd and COMELEC, DepEd teachers and administrators who are members of the Electoral Board will receive the following benefits if needed: “death benefit worth P500,000, medical assistance worth P200,000, legal indemnification package worth Php50,000.”

“In a separate MOA with the Public Attorneys’ Office, mayroon na po kaming naka-connect na linya sa bawat region and division na kung sakaling nanganagilangan immediately ang aming teachers ng abogado ay naka-timbre na po kami sa PAO,” Sevilla added.

Also present in the press conference were DepEd Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS) Director Abram Abanil and DepEd Bureau of Learner Support Services Director Rizalino Jose Rosales.

The ETF operation and monitoring center is open until May 14, 2019.