MANILA, Philippines – A group of progressive teachers amplified their demand for an “overdue dialogue” with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) so they could raise their long-standing concerns about better compensation for the 2022 polls.
Over 300,000 teachers will serve in the electoral boards (EBs), which are in-charge of manning the high-stakes May 9 vote.
Among the demands of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) are:
- scrapping the tax raise of 20% on their travel allowance
- unveiling concrete plans on the overtime pay for teachers
- detailing medical measures to prevent COVID-19 infection
“Many of their concerns remain unaddressed, which is akin to sending our teachers to the battlefield without armaments,” ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio said in a statement.
“Our electoral boards deserve better, and we’re here to demand from the Comelec,” added Basilio, whose group staged a protest outside the Comelec office on Wednesday, April 6.
In November 2021, the same group slammed the Comelec for supposedly reneging on its promised P3,000 increase in the honoraria of poll workers for the 2022 polls.
Comelec Resolution No. 10727, released that month, showed only an additional P1,000 increase in the honoraria of poll workers across-the-board, namely chairpersons of the electoral board, EB members, Department of Education supervisor officials (DESO), and their support staff.
ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said such a “minimal” pay hike is not enough, considering the longer hours that electoral boards will serve during the vote.
For May 9, 2022, voting hours are from 6 am to 7 pm. In 2019, polling precincts closed at 6 pm.
EB members will also be given a P2,000 travel allowance for the 2022 polls, but ACT is protesting the looming P400 deduction due to a 20% tax on election service honoraria and allowances.”
The group had said the raising of taxes was “arbitrarily imposed” by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2018, when teachers were actually pushing to scrap the original tax of 5%.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia had said on Monday, April 4, that it will look into the appeals of the teachers. – Rappler.com