Teachers on poll duty to get extra P2,000 – Comelec
MANILA, Philippines – Teachers who will undergo technical training in preparation for their poll duty in May will get an additional P2,000, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said that this will be on top of the P4,500-honorarium of teachers appointed as members of the board of election inspectors (BEIs). (READ: DepEd: Required or not, teachers ready to render election duties)
The additional training and traveling compensation is provided under the memorandum of agreement (MOA) the Comelec signed with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday, January 28.
“Essentially, the MOA with the DepEd is in respect of the teachers who will be serving as the board of election inspectors. The teachers are our front liners in respect of our elections. So we are looking to engage around 300,000 teachers roughly, because we have about 95,000 voting clustered precincts all over the country,” said Bautista.
Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the DOST's role is to ensure that at least one of the BEIs per clustered precinct will have the necessary skills to operate the voting machines.
“Ang role talaga (Our role really) is to certify that one of the BEIs is technically capable of operating properly our automatic voting system. This is the third time and we are pleased to work with Comelec. We’ve done this twice. Maganda ang experience (Our past experiences were good),” said Montejo.
According to Bautista, the Comelec will be giving the additional compensation to the public school teachers once they attend the training from March 1 to 26.
“Alam din naman namin na ang pangunahing layunin ng mga teacher para magserve sa ating mga BEI ay ‘di para kumita, kundi para tumulong, para pangalagaan ang ating demokrasya,” said Bautista.
(We know that the primary goal of our teachers who serve in the BEI is not to earn money, but to help, and to protect our democracy.)
“It’s really part of their patriotic service to the community to ensure that we have clean elections,” the Comelec chief added.
Support for ERSA
Meanwhile, Bautista said Comelec has no problem with the Congress-approved bill allowing teachers to defer from their duties as members of the BEI and other election service panels.
“[On the] issue as to whether or not it should be voluntarily [for teachers to participate], we don’t see that as a problem. As of today, there are 650,000 public school teachers. They are looking to hire another 65,000 to 70,000 teachers. We will only be needing about 300,000 teachers, so less than half,” he said.
Under Senate Bill No. 2178 or the Election Service Reform Act (ERSA), which is awaiting the signature of President Benigno Aquino III, the honorarium will be higher because election volunteers can get a maximum of P6,000 ($125.63), on top of a P1,000 ($20.92)-travel allowance.
Bautista, however, said he wishes the poll body would be given a supplemental budget so it can shoulder the extra costs should the bill be enacted into law in time for the May elections. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P47.76
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