Poll duty remains voluntary for teachers, DepEd says

Published October 1, 2021, 6:55 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In case you didn’t know, teachers can refuse poll duty. Yes, really.


Officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, Oct. 1, said that election duty is not mandatory for public school teachers and their participation in the electoral process remains on a “voluntary” basis.

“Early this year, we conducted a survey among our teachers to find out if they are still willing because I have the impression that this exercise is not going to be mandatory,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones during a virtual press briefing.

Briones added that “most, if not practically 100 percent of those who were asked” expressed readiness to serve in the elections despite the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country.

“The results [of the survey] showed that teachers were still willing to serve [but] that was earlier this year but I cannot say for now,” Briones said.

When it comes to those who will serve in the election, Briones said that first priority is given to teachers. “There’s a listing of those who can help in the election process in addition to the teachers… my impression is that it is voluntary, teachers can refuse,” Briones added.

Undersecretary for Field Operations Revsee Escobedo, who is also a lawyer, confirmed that the participation of teachers in election duties is not mandatory.

“Yung pagtatalaga ng ating mga guro bilang maging miyembro Board of Election Inspectors [BEIs] yan ay on voluntary basis (The appointment of our teachers as members of the Board of Election Inspectors is on a voluntary basis,” Escobedo said.

“Dahil sa mahabang panahon at maraming eleksyon na ang ating mga guro ay naging katuwang sa panahon ng halalan, nakasanayan na ng ating mga kaguruan na tumulong dito sa pagko-conduct ng halalan (For the longest time and with the many elections that our teachers have been helping during the election, our teachers are now used to assisting in the conduct of the election),” he added.