Public school teachers in Zamboanga City are ready to serve the manual Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 30, this year, according to District 1 Election Officer Atty. Stephen Roy Cañete.
The COMELEC in collaboration with the Department of Education is deploying more or less 4,000 teachers for the Oct. 30 elections, of which 2,133 will be assigned in the different precincts under District 2 and 1,890 will man voting centers in District 1.
However, Atty. Cañete told the press briefing in City Hall on Monday, Aug. 1, that the teachers assigned to the island barangay of Pasilmanta have refused to serve the upcoming BSK elections due to security concern.
He said as of Monday no teachers yet have signified to serve Pasilmanta but the election office in District 2 was already addressing the issue.
Cañete further said the city’s island barangays, as in the past elections, are categorized by Comelec as “areas of concern,” primarily because of their accessibility problems.
“They are also being used as egress and ingress points by lawless elements,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cañete warned teachers against serving the elections in the barangays where their closest of relatives (up to 4th degree of consanguinity) are candidates. “It is an election offense against the teachers.”
Under that circumstance, a request may be made for the transfer of the teacher to another barangay, where he/she has no relative-candidates.
“We believe in the integrity of our teachers. We cannot just transfer them without valid reason,” Cañete stressed.
For the upcoming elections, Zamboanga City’s 98 barangays have a total of 466,984 registered voters, of which 223,072 are in District 1 and 243,912 in District 2.
For the SK elections (15 to 30 years old), the city has 146,535 registered voters—69,380 in District 1 and 77,165 in District 2.
The election period is from August 28 to October 29, during which the gun ban will take effect. Transfer and detail of government employees are also prohibited under Civil Service Commission (CSC) regulations-[Vic Larato]