PASIG CITY, May 8, 2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday highlighted that the welfare of the poll workers and voters will be prioritized as the agency prepared health and safety interventions before, during, and after May 9 National and Local Elections (NLE).

“Briefly, we have defined some safety protocols for the May 9 National and Local Elections, and this is also made in conjunction with COMELEC [Commission on Elections],” DepEd Election Task Force Chair and Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua said.

According to the report of Undersecretary Pascua to Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones during the 2022 DepEd ETF National and Local Elections Press Conference, the Department will establish Voters Assistance Desk (VAD). They will also put sanitation stations/disinfection areas in polling centers, have temperature checks, and encourage the use of face masks.

The DepEd will strictly reinforce the social distancing (1 meter apart), place plastic barriers in Electoral Board Area and Voters Area, designate Isolation Polling Places (IPPs) for voters with 37.5˚ C and above temperature, and implementation of health and safety protocols in polling centers.

Furthermore, Usec. Pascua noted that the final testing and sealing of 106,439 Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) started last May 2 and ended on May 7, while the distribution of the honoraria and other allowances will be conducted within 15 days after the NLE.

The Department will also conduct various post-election activities, including the return of election paraphernalia and materials used by the Electoral Boards to the Election Officers and sanitation and disinfection of schools used during the elections.

Aside from this, the agency will organize Random Manual Audit (RMA), wherein the manual examination of ballots to validate the count of VCMs will be conducted in the National Capital Region within five days after the 2022 NLE.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones noted that the Department had been continuously crafting initiatives that would help the teaching and non-teaching personnel during elections.

“From the very beginning, we have been proactively creating policies and plans that would be critical in preparing and conducting the 2022 National and Local Elections. We are also ensuring everyone that we prioritize the wellbeing of our teachers and personnel who will serve on May 9,” Secretary Briones said.