Teachers hurt during Philippine elections urged to file insurance claims

Department of Education confirmed that teachers are covered under government scheme

Teachers hurt during Philippine elections urged to file insurance claims

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

In the aftermath of the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) has confirmed that public school teachers who encountered accidents while on duty during the elections can claim benefits from their medical and accident insurance.

A spokesperson for DepEd said that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is prepared to reimburse medical expenses linked to election-related accidents.

“If it’s not election-related, or if it’s election-related but would still require additional assistance, we have GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) personal accident insurance that we bought for our teachers,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said, according to a report from The Philippine Star.

Comelec had earlier allocated PHP500,000 in death benefits and PHP200,000 in cash assistance for accidents or injuries occurring to each teacher engaged in the 2023 BSKE. As per DepEd's records, five accidents involving teachers on poll duty were reported.

Unfortunate incidents during the elections

Among these incidents, a teacher from Legazpi City, Albay, died in a motorcycle accident while enroute to the polling precinct. Additionally, a teacher in Pangasinan was bitten by a snake while transporting election paraphernalia. Furthermore, a teacher in Davao City suffered injuries in a vehicular accident.

DepEd said that affected teachers can file claims under their GSIS-issued Personal Accident Insurance (GPAI) policy within 60 days from the date of the accident.

Under this insurance policy, personnel of DepEd can claim up to PHP100,000 for accidental death or dismemberment, with a provision for medical reimbursement of up to PHP30,000 for accident-related injuries. To coincide with World Teachers' Day held in October, DepEd announced that it has secured accident insurance coverage of up to P1HP00,000 for all its personnel.

The BSKE duties have encountered several challenges, according to reports by teachers' groups such as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC).

The groups mentioned disruptions in transporting election paraphernalia and ballot boxes within and outside Metro Manila. ACT raised concerns over teachers backing out from their duties due to safety concerns.

Meanwhile, the TCD has urged losing candidates not to blame teachers for their electoral defeats, emphasising that election results may hinge on other factors beyond the teachers' roles.

Elsewhere in the country, the Philippines’ House of Representatives website was recently hacked, the latest in a series of online attacks on the Southeast Asian nation’s government.

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