#ELECTION2019: Election monitoring app for DepEd teachers

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DepEd says that the app will help teachers who will serve as officials  to easily get a picture of activities and reports within hours if data are collected properly will.

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) election monitoring mobile application seeks to protect and ease the workload of teachers with poll duties on Monday, an official said over the weekend.

“The app was created for the protection of the teachers, and we will not ask them, through the app, how many ballots have been filled up or not filled up, how many voters are there, are the machines working or not. Won’t ask them those because these are the realms of Comelec (Commission on Elections),” DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua said in a press briefing.

With the app, Pascua said the DepEd wants to have a more efficient way of gathering, consolidating, centralizing, and managing all election-related information into “data that is easily understood and actionable in real time”.

“We want to know the real issues on the ground, so we could provide immediate action. For example, the travel allowance and honoraria is not yet given, we’ll check on it with the Comelec, or if there’s harassment, an accident, we’ll immediately inform our law enforcers,” he added.

Citing that the questions in the app may be answered in less than five minutes, Pascua said the app lifts the burden of written report submissions off the teachers’ shoulders.

“Whether they have the app or not, they will have to report the situations on the ground. The app will just make reporting for them easier since they’ll just be clicking (items in it) and we’ll be able to get the reports and statistics right away,” he said, adding that download of the app is not compulsory.

Meanwhile, Intelimina System representative Deng Silorio explained the app can be downloaded into android phones.

“Our app supports the lowest smartphone from ice cream sandwich to pie, but it can’t be downloaded into iPhones, for android first. If teachers want to learn how to use it, they can just check the resources where placed explainer video,” she said.

Solorio said the items and questions in the app differ according to the position or task of the app user.

“From the registration itself, the app can already identify the location whether it is division, regional, and which precinct. The questions are comprehensive and answerable by true or false and there are pre-elections, during elections, post elections, facilities, benefits menu for reporting,” she said.

Pascua further said teachers can take and upload photos through the app to report cases of facilities’ damage, fire, harassment and other incidents.

“The photos have date and time stamps for verification purposes… Teachers are already informed about what they should do if harassment happens but we also placed such information, reminder in the app,” he said.

Since it is the first election mobile app the DepEd has created, Pascua stressed that it is for the use of teachers who will serve during Monday’s poll.

“Maaaring sa susunod na mga halalan, mas mahaba na ang preparasyon, baka pwede na rin maipagamit sa mga (Maybe in the next elections, when there’s longer preparation, it could also be used by) volunteers. This time, the app is good for DepEd personnel first, not even for Comelec,” he said.

When asked about the privacy of user information, Solorio said they have created the app with information and user security in mind.

“Kahit manakaw iyong phone ng teacher, hindi nila makikita ang (Even if the teacher’s phone is stolen, they won’t see the) personal information, only codes like 101010. Also, we’ll know if someone who is not a teacher with poll duties downloads the app and will try to input information there. We have created the app in a way that only authorized, legitimate personnel with poll duties can use it,” she added.

Teachers who are interested using the app can download it at: https://electionmonitoring.deped.gov.ph/

The app will be taken down after the election day as all poll reports have been received by DepEd. (PNA)

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