TACLOBAN CITY — The local government here became center of criticisms the past days after teachers who served as election inspectors in the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections disclosed that they were their respective precincts using dump trucks believed to be used also in collecting garbage in the city.
This comes as netizens leaked a photo and video on social media showing the teachers struggling to go up the dump truck using a stair made of coconut lumber.
The criticism centered mainly on the insensitivity of the city government on the plight of public school teachers who have to wake up at midnight to get the ballot boxes at 2 a.m. at the Tacloban City Hall and transport them using stinky and rusty dump trucks.
Public school teacher Charina Paranas, who first posted regarding their plight but was already deleted, said the incident was "demoralizing" when they had to ride the dump truck that smelled like excrement.
Another teacher identified as Lilibelle Faller, said riding the dump truck put their life at risk as there were electric cables that could hit them when they stood straight.
Teacher Lily Talagon, on the other hand, expressed her disgust, saying it was a disrespectful gesture.
"It was really so disheartening to see licensed teachers treated in such a manner just because they were paid. We were made to wake up so early because we need to get the paraphernalia from city hall before proceeding to our respective precincts, an act which was so unfriendly to teachers knowing that the election process will take even up to the wee hours of the following day which means that we need to serve more than 24 hours with no proper meal for the entire day," said Talagon in a social media comment.
"What makes the whole thing worst pa is the alleged dump track was a garbage truck daw. The stinky smell was undeniably so apparent. What a disrespectful gesture. Super disgusting on our part," she added.
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez was reportedly out of the city when the incident happened.
On Wednesday, Tacloban City administrator Lila Czarina Aquitania issued a public statement asking for an apology over the incident and in an official statement, she stressed that the city government tries its best to improve its services to the best of its ability.
The city official said it recognizes the vital contribution of the teachers during the election as well as in taking care of the children in school and assured the public that the city will improve the services and programs of the city and promised that the incident will not happen again in the future.