MANILA, Philippines (Updated) - Teachers under the group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) are demanding P6,000 in pay for the services they will render as board of election inspectors (BEIs) for the midterm elections.
Benjie Valbuena, chairperson of ACT, said teachers deserve a P2,000 additional pay from the P4,000 set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Teachers received a total of P4,300 in 2010 when the automated elections was first implemented in the country. The pay was made up of P3,800 for the service and P500 for transportation expenses.
"It is unfair that amount was deducted from what we received during the 2010 elections," Valbuena said.
Valbuena pointed out that BEIs have to handle around 1,000 voters per precinct under the automated elections unlike when the polls were still implemented through a manual system.
"Iba kasi ang automated elections eh. Dumami ang botante kasi nga naka-cluster…. Hindi naman automated yung paglagay ng indelible ink eh. Hindi naman automated ang pangalan ng isang libong botante (The automated elections are different. There are more voters because they are clustered...Putting indelible ink on people isn't automated. The names of a thousand voters aren't automated.)," Valbuena noted.
ACT is also seeking legal assistance from the poll body and 5 days of service credits.
"Dapat tiyakin ng Comelec na hindi magagamit ang teachers sa anumang uri ng harassment…. Isa pang malungkot diyan. Kaming mga teachers dine-deputize ng Comelec pero pagdating ng kasuhan, Comelec pa ang lumalabas na complainant laban sa amin (Comelec should ensure that teachers will not be used for any sort of harassment.... Another sad thing about it is that we teachers are deputized by the Comelec, but when it comes time to file cases, it's the Comelec who comes out as a complainant against us)," Valbuena said.
Valbuena said they sought an explanation from Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. to no avail.
In an ambush interview, Brillantes said the Comelec already answered the concerns of teachers through Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
"Anong worry nila? (What's are they worrying about?).... As far as I know, kausap namin ang DepEd, si Secretary Luistro, wala kaming problema sa majority of teachers (As far as I know, we're in talks with the DepEd, with Secretary Luistro, and we have no problems with the majority of teachers)," Brillantes told reporters.
Brillantes said teachers will be given legal assistance by at least 3 groups: the Legal Network for Truthful Elections, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Public Attorney’s Office.
"Sobra-sobra ang kanilang legal assistance (They have more than enough legal assistance),” the poll chief said. - Rappler.com