DOST certifies over 160,000 teachers as IT-capable to operate poll machines

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By Edd K. Usman

Out of a total of 183,105 members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) processed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), information technology (IT) experts of the DOST certified 165,268 BEIs as IT-capable.

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The teacher-BEIs who passed the DOST certification process are capable of operating the Vote Counting Machine (VCM), which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be using in the forthcoming national, regional, and local elections on May 9, 2016.

The result also means that of the 183,105 teachers the DOST processed as BEIs, 17,839 did not meet the requirements needed to be certified IT-capable.

Information reaching Newsbytes.PH showed a 90.26-percent national passing rate in the certification process, which the DOST conducted from March 1 to 30 this year. It consisted of a training, written test, and actual operation of the VCM.

Eleven regions surpassed the national passing rate.

As mandated by the AES (Automated Election Law) or Republic Act 9369, IT experts of DOST performed the certification in all the 17 regions of the Philippines, as well as overseas absentee voting (OAV) which had an 88-percent passing rate (279 certified out of 317 BEIs processed for OAV voting).

In an AES, at least one of the three members of the BEIs in all the 95,000 clustered precincts across the country must be IT-capable.

Region 3 in Luzon in this election year topped the election inspectors’ certification with a passing rate of 99.1 percent from 19,027 teachers processed, with 18,861 of them certified by the DOST as IT-capable.

Mindanao’s Region 13 (CARAGA Administrative Region) emerged second place, registering a passing rate of 99.0 percent (5,333 BEIs processed, 5,279 certified). In third place is Region 8 with its 97.3 passing rate (11,514 BEIs processed, 6,912 certified).

Teachers serving as members of the BEIs are entitled to a P4,500 honorarium during the election, as well as an additional P2,000 for those who underwent technical training, Comelec said earlier.

The DOST and the Comelec signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the coming election which, among others, states that the former ensures that at least one member of the BEIs in every voting clustered precinct has the necessary skills to operate the VCM.

Comelec said it needs around 300,000 teachers for the 2016 election to serve as members of the BEIs.

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