The House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms yesterday approved a bill making election service voluntary for public school teachers and allowing all citizens to serve as poll workers.
House Bill 4096, “An Act Amending Section 13 of Republic Act No. 6646, Otherwise Known As ‘The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987,’ Making Election Service Voluntary for Public School Teachers and Other Citizens,” was authored by ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio.
The bill proposes that members of the Boards of Election Inspectors, who are responsible for the conduct of elections at the polling precincts, shall be composed of citizen volunteers. The Commission on Elections shall appoint volunteers as Election Inspectors, giving priority to public school teachers, private school teachers, employees in the civil service, and citizens of known probity and competence.
“This is the first step forward in enabling broader participation of the citizenry in all aspects of the electoral process, thereby easing the burden of election duty on public school teachers,” said Tinio. “Ensuring the successful conduct of elections is the responsibility of all citizens in a democratic society. The hardships and sacrifices, the rewards as well as the risks, should be borne by all.”
During the hearing, major national and local teacher organizations submitted to the committee letters endorsing the bill. These are: Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines (ACT-Philippines), Philippine Public School Teachers Association-National Capital Region (PPSTA-NCR), the 10,000-strong Quezon City Public School Teachers Association (QCPSTA), the 11,500-strong Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA), and the Caloocan Public School Teachers Association (CAPSTA).
The Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms will prepare a report on the bill, which shall be submitted to the House plenary for second reading. #
ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)
Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)