LOS BAŇOS, Laguna -- Around 22,194 teachers, who will compose the Electoral Boards (EBs) across Calabarzon Region for the May 13 mid-term elections, are up for certification starting Tuesday by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) regional office here and authorized science and technology (S&T) agencies.

Rochelle Cruz, head of the DOST-Calabarzon Public Affairs, Relations and Communications Unit (PARCU), told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday that the regional office, in partnership with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), will undertake anew the certification procedure for the EB members -- Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI), Board of Election Tellers (BET), Special Board of Election Tellers (SBET).

Cruz said the DOST Central Office, its regional office here, along with the Philippine Council for Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD); and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), have 34 certifiers and two quick response teams to conduct the certification of EB teacher members.

She said the certification period kicks off on March 5 until March 16 for the Calabarzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon; while Cavite has slated its registration from March 5 until March 23.

During the certification procedure, the public school teachers will undergo a seminar and training on the proper operations of the vote counting machines (VCM) by the Comelec before the issuance of DOST certification.

“The teachers assigned to the respective poll boards will also go through written and practical exams on the use of VCM to assess their readiness for the upcoming elections,” Cruz said.

She further said the certification process is pursuant to Republic Act 9369, or the Automated Election System (AES) Law which amended Republic Act 8436, authorizing the Comelec to use an automated election system for the national or local elections in a bid to encourage transparency, credibility, fairness and accuracy of the polls.

Cruz noted this is the fourth time the DOST is handling the EB certification with over 22,000 to be certified in the Calabarzon Region alone.

The S&T agencies have estimated more than 171,000 EBs that are up for certification all over the country before the May 13 mid-term polls, she added. (PNA)