MANILA, Philippines – The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections of 2018 will be the first time Republic Act 10756, which was enacted in 2015, will be implemented at the village level. The law allows the appointment of volunteers should public school teachers refuse to do election duties.
The volunteers will be named by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), through local election officers, and will be paid honoraria and covered by some benefits. They will watch over voting, manually count the ballots, and keep their precincts peaceful from 6 am on election day, May 14, up to when they deliver vote counts to the barangay board of canvassers in the evening.
Each electoral board has a chairperson, a poll clerk, and a member, further assisted by Department of Education Supervisor Officials (DESOs) and support staff.
RA 10756 sets the following honoraria:
- Chairperson – P6,000
- Members – P5,000
- DESOs – P4,000
- Support staff – P2,000
Volunteers are also entitled to receive additional allowances and insurance, broken down by Comelec’s Resolution Number 10211 as:
- P1,000 travel allowance
- P50,000-worth of legal indemnification package
- P200,000 maximum medical assistance insurance
- P500,000 maximum insurance for election-related death
The allowances need to be distributed within 15 days from election day.
According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Monday, May 7, the government will pay the workers through cash cards or hard cash.
What does it take to be an electoral board member? The Comelec resolution does not name what kind of professionals can be appointed to the board in the absence of teachers.
It only says possible appointees must be registered voters “of good moral character and irreproachable reputation,” who are “of known integrity and competence,” and can speak and write Filipino, English, or the local dialect.
They should never have been convicted of any election offense or of any crime punishable by more than 6 months in jail, and has no election offense being investigated.
A Comelec officer cannot appoint to the board any relative up to the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity.
The poll body is also prohibited from designating any electoral board member to a precinct where residents can vote his or her spouse. – Rappler.com
Graphic by Ken Bautista; photos by Alecs Ongcal, Martin San Diego, Mau Victa/Rappler