Distribution of poll workers’ honoraria underway in Central Visayas

John Sitchon

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Distribution of poll workers’ honoraria underway in Central Visayas

POLLING. Election officers start the manual canvass of votes in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, at Guadalupe Elementary School in Cebu City on October 30.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Some 3,440 poll workers have so far received their honorariums in Central Visayas as of Tuesday morning, October 31

CEBU, Philippines – The Commission on Election in Central Visayas (Comelec VII) was working to release the honorariums of the region’s 47,916 teaching and non-teaching staff, who served during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, before November 3.

This is the goal of the Comelec regional office, Comelec VII Administrative Officer Ivan Jason Delos Santos told a press conference on Tuesday, October 31.

“As of 10 in the morning, we already have 100% canvassing with regards to the votes of the candidates, and with regards to the proclamation, we are at 98.6%,” Delos Santos said.

So far, Comelec has accomplished 7.18% of the distributions. This means that around 3,440 recipients in the region have already been given their honorariums as of 10 am, Tuesday morning.

In August, Comelec Chairperson George Garcia said the honorariums for poll workers have gone up from P5,000 and P6,000. For electoral board members and chairpersons, the rates increased to P9,000 and P10,000, respectively.

The Department of Education Supervisor Officials (DESO) assigned to polling centers would get P9,000 each for poll duty, while the support staff will receive P5,500 each.

Comelec has given its regional agencies and local school divisions at least 15 days to wrap up the distributions of the honorariums.

Early finish

On Monday, October 30, Rappler went to the mountain barangay of Cansomoroy in Balamban town, Cebu – a place that was recently declared by Comelec as an area of concern.

This was after candidate for barangay chairman, Anastacio Pacquiao, was shot dead along the national highway in Balamban on October 5.

Melchor Yap, the DESO of Cansomoroy Elementary School, told Rappler that there were no issues with the conduct of the voting process there.

According to him, many residents came to the poll center as early as 5 am in order to exercise their right to suffrage and leave just before the weather there got bad.

“Mao nang mga alas onse, mingaw na (That’s why at around 11 am, it was nearly empty),” Yap said.

Safe and smooth operations

Ida Cabantan, the chief administrative officer of the DepEd in Central Visayas, said on Tuesday that the regional agency activated its Schools Division Election Task Force.

“Today, the Schools Division Election Task Force is reporting that there are no issues and concerns,” Cabantan said.

Despite this, Cabantan admitted that there were minor issues during the election day but added that these were already addressed.

On Monday, concerned residents in Cebu City’s most vote-rich village, Barangay Guadalupe, reported that there were missing ballots that delayed voting at Guadalupe Elementary School.

Churchita Padernal, the principal and DESO of the school, told Rappler on Monday afternoon that the ballots were not missing.

According to her, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) needed to be relocated to the Emergency Accessible Polling Place (EAPP) where they would not have to walk far and take the stairs to their supposed polling precinct.

Padernal said the delay was due to the fact that poll workers accommodating the seniors and PWDs needed to first locate and verify the precinct numbers and other important information assigned to the latter before allowing them to vote.

“Initially, we can say that the BSKE 2023 is peaceful and also smooth,” Cabantan said. –

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