Comelec confident over sufficient number of teachers serving as BEIs in 2016 polls

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Sept. 25 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is confident that there will be sufficient number of teachers that will serve as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) even if election duties will be made voluntary for public school teachers.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said there will be enough number of teachers serving in the May 2016 polls.

“Currently, we have about 630,000 teachers and they are still hiring more. We think there will be a sufficient number who will volunteer for the elections,” he said.

The poll body chief explained that Comelec would need only about 300,000 teachers to become members of some 100,000 BEIs that will man clustered polling precincts.

“There will be enough public school teachers,” he added.

The statement was issued after the House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill making election duties for public school teachers no longer mandatory.

With this, Bautista noted that in case there will be a shortage of public school teachers, they are ready to tap private school teachers.

“If we will have new teachers (serving as BEI members), I don’t think training them will be difficult because they are teachers. They are not hard to train,” he said.

Bautista added that they can also ask members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to serve as BEI members if regular BEI members fail to perform election duties in case of existing security conditions.

Under the law, the BEI is mandated to conduct the voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places; supervise and control the election in the polling places where they are assigned; and administer the automated election system.(PNA)