February 28, 2024

The Department of Education said 1,600 teachers will serve in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October.

During a City Joint Security Control Center (CJSCC) meeting at the Baguio City Police Office, Soraya Faculo, officer-in-charge Schools Division Superintendent (SDS), said the number is about half of the total teaching force of DepEd.

“We have 1,600 teachers who are ready to serve in the elections. We can schedule their training by September after the classes for the coming school year open,” she said.

Faculo said they hope to finish the list of names of teachers who will serve as members of the electoral board on Oct. 30.

“We will already submit them to Comelec as soon as we are done with it,” she said.

She added most of the teachers in the city who will help in the elections are relatively young teachers who can hurdle the different challenges posed by a manual election.

She said several teachers have already served in past elections and have knowledge on poll-related challenges.

The Comelec said Baguio has been historically known to have peaceful elections, with only minor incidents.

“This election could be a little challenging since it will be manual and rules being applied now are different. But a little guidance about the elections will be very helpful. We will let them know that they have the authority to ask people to leave a polling precinct to bring order when there are already too many of them,” the official said.

Baguio Election Supervisor John Paul Martin said the city has 169,711 adult voters and 46,762 registered SK voters eligible to cast their votes on Oct. 30.

“We are confident that especially for the SK voters, they will go out and vote,” he said, adding the local Comelec has been conducting voter education among SK groups and in schools.

He said in 2018, more than 20 barangays in Baguio out of the 128 failed to elect SK officials because no youth voters registered for that year’s polls.

More than half of the 128 barangays either failed to reach a “quorum” or did not have candidates for SK chair.

“We had massive voters’ education because of the data on SK that we have in Baguio where we reiterated the importance of the SK. We will know by the filing period if indeed our activities of conducting voter’s education appealed to them.  – PNA