The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Tuesday, May 11, that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was “sympathetic” to its request to increase the compensation and benefits of teachers who will act as poll workers in 2022.
“They are very sympathetic to the plight of teachers because they are volunteering,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a press briefing aired on state-run PTV4.
“Ang assurance nila, sa kanilang budget for 2022 talagang i-propose nila ‘yung aming mga requests,” Briones said. (Their assurance is that they will include our requests in their 2022 budget proposal.)
On April 15, the DepEd appealed to Comelec to provide additional compensation and benefits for poll workers in the 2022 national elections.
DepEd also asked Comelec the following additional benefits for poll workers:
- P500 daily COVID-19 hazard pay for authorized poll workers
- Provisions of onsite swab testing and other health services
- P1,000 allowance for food and water
- P2,000 for transportation expenses
Two shifts eyed
In the same briefing, Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said that DepEd is in talks with the Comelec on having two shifts for teachers who will act as poll watchers in 2022.
“‘Yung mga teachers natin nagsisimula ‘yan 3 am o 4 am ng umaga tapos natatapos ‘yan 8 pm or 9 pm… Sinama na po natin ‘yan sa konsiderasyon natin kung may posibilidad na magkakaroon ng dalawang shifts ‘yung pagbabantay sa halalan,” said Pascua.
(Our teachers start their duties around 3 or 4 am then they will end around 8 or 9 pm. We included that consideration in case there would be two shifts during the elections.)
Pascua added that the discussion is ongoing for this possible arrangement especially as voting hours for the 2022 national elections will most likely be extended by up to four hours.
He said in Filipino that teachers should work for only 8 to 10 hours “so they could serve properly.”
During the last 2019 elections, over 500,000 teachers served as poll workers while almost 36,830 schools were turned into polling centers.
Over 60 million voters are expected to participate in the 2022 national elections, the first to be conducted in the middle of a pandemic. – Rappler.com