Comelec urged to train teachers serving as BEIs for May polls

By Perfecto Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to intensify the training of public school teachers who will be serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in manual voting.

The call was made nine days prior to the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election on May 14, 2018.

In a statement on Saturday, DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesman Jonathan E. Malaya said teachers need to be oriented again of the rules in appreciating and counting the ballots, considering that the voting and counting for the May 14 elections will be manual, as opposed to the automated elections in 2016.

“It is always a huge challenge for teachers serving as BEIs, especially with all the pressure from poll watchers, supporters of the barangay and SK candidates, and even voters. They should, therefore, know their duties like the back of their hands to ensure that there will be no glitches come election day,” Malaya said.

The DILG official said the training would be beneficial for the teachers who had served as BEIs in previous elections, as well as for those who would be doing election duty for the first time.

Malaya said he had spoken to some teachers in Pangasinan, who requested special training on the appreciation of ballots prior to the barangay elections.

“The important thing is that they will be able to learn and go through the whole process, so that they will be able to address and resolve any issue that may come up during the election proper,” he said.

The last manual election in the country was held during the barangay elections in November 2013. Automated elections were conducted during the May 2013 mid-term and May 2016 presidential elections. (PNA)