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DepEd wants proper support, protection for teachers in 2022 elections



MANILA— In preparation for the upcoming 2022 national and local elections, the Department of Education (DepEd) is seeking to facilitate the bulk application of more than 900,000 of its employees to obtain their Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) digital signatures.

“We are continuously cooperating with our lead agencies to have a secure and peaceful elections, and part of our commitment is to ensure that our teachers are protected and given the proper support,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said in a news release on Monday.

The PNPKI digital signature is a new requirement of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) for all public school teachers who will serve as Electoral Board Members. It is a virtual ‘key’ that subscribers use to secure files sent over an otherwise unsecured ‘public’ network like the Internet.

In a letter from DepEd to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department requested to streamline the application process by waiving the requirement for individual application forms, including physically filling out the forms.

In previous discussions with the DICT, the requirements for individual interviews and supporting IDs have been waived. The DepEd, however, is further requesting the waiving of the requirement for individual application forms as this may be cumbersome to check individually for errors.

This rigorous process for teachers will entail the downloading of these forms, physically filling them out, and uploading the same wherein checking for accuracy is an altogether different tedious task.

“This proposal will guarantee that our teachers will not be burdened by rigorous steps and requirements anymore,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua pointed out in the letter.

DepEd also proposed the use of available secure and reliable technologies and the submission of documents for bulk processing in place of the PNPKI application forms.

Documents proposed to be submitted to DICT include a spreadsheet file containing DepEd employees’ verified data certified by Human Resources, and an institutional application from DepEd in place of individual applications.

In addition, the Department will facilitate the online registration of its employees through its DepEd Mobile App and DepEd Commons to expedite the application process. (PR)