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Teachers serving in the May polls will be orientated by the BARMM and the Comelec.

The region’s poll body and education department collaborated to hold a series of orientations for public school teachers serving as election board members as part of preparations for peaceful, safe, and orderly national and local elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“This is to enable a seamless balloting process in the national and local elections in May 2022,” BARMM Minister of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) Mohagher Iqbal said in a statement on Wednesday.

This year’s election on May 9 will be the first regular election that BARMM has directly participated in since its creation in January 2019.

Iqbal told reporters on the sidelines of a day-long orientation organized by MBHTE and Comelec at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex inside the BARMM center here on Tuesday that 200 instructors attended.

“We want it to be the best because it’s our first.” “We aim to raise the threshold for honest, orderly, and peaceful elections (HOPE),” Iqbal stated.

Teachers at Notre Dame Village High School received the same orientation on adhering to basic health norms.

“I can’t do it alone, and neither can the Comelec.” “The only way we can achieve this HOPE is with the help of our teachers who will serve on the electoral board or as MBHTE supervisory officers,” Iqbal continued.

45 instructors from the city, 135 from Maguindanao Schools Division I and II, and 20 from the BARMM’s Special Geographic Area or villages in North Cotabato that are now part of the budding autonomous region were among those who took part.

In the next days, similar orientations will be held in Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, according to Iqbal.

Iqbal stated that the autonomous region’s elections have always been seen as crucial.

“Most, if not all, of the provinces in the dissolved ARMM, were considered hot spots at the time, and there have been no significant changes since then,” he said.

Iqbal hopes that, unlike in the past, teachers participating in this year’s polls would not be subjected to threats, intimidation, or violence.

He claims that some teachers refuse to serve during elections because of threats and harassment.

“A people-centered leadership will be a game-changer with the arrival of the BARMM. “The BARMM government has made it a point to follow the notion of moral governance,” Iqbal stated.

“Providing our people with the freedom to pick their leaders is an important part of moral government.” He went on to say that he was “free of all types of intimidation and undue influence.”

Last year, the MBHTE and the Comelec signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure that BARMM teachers and other personnel serving in the 2022 elections have their rights secured.

The BARMM is made up of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, as well as the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as 63 villages in six North Cotabato towns.

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