Teachers' group appeals for higher pay for teachers serving in 2022 polls

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2021 08:14 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections should increase the allowances and benefits for teachers serving in the 2022 polls, a teachers’ group said Sunday.

According to Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Secretary General Raymond Basilio, benefits should be increased especially with the threat of COVID-19.

"Yung dagdag na allowance na hinihingi natin ay maliit na bagay na pagpapakita ng gobyerno na bina-value or pinapahalagahan ng wasto ang sakripisyo at pagharap ng teachers na magsisilbing bahagi ng poll election workers, kaysa sa risk na haharapin. Kailangan tugunan ito ng Comelec, hindi tayo naniniwala na kulang ang pondo, kailangan ipaglaban ito," Basilio told ABS-CBN News in an interview Sunday.

(The additional allowance we are asking for is just a small way for the government to show how it values the sacrifices of our teachers who will serve as poll election workers, compared to the risk they will face. The Comelec has to do something about this, we do not believe there are no funds for it. We have to fight for it.)

Under Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, persons rendering election services shall be granted the honoraria as follows: Chairpersons of Electoral Boards, P6,000; Members of Electoral Boards, P5,000; DepEd Supervisor Officials, P4,000; Support Staff, P2,000 and a travel allowance of P1,000.

On Friday, ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro filed House Resolution 2181 appealing for the increase in allowance of teachers serving in the 2022 polls.

The resolution proposes that allowances be increased as follows: Chairpersons of Electoral Boards, P10,000; Members of Electoral Boards, 9,000; DepEd Supervisor Officials, P8,000; Support Staff, P7,000; Travel Allowance, P3,000 - P5,000; Food Allowance P2,500.

"Napakahirap ng sitwasyon ng isang guro na naglilingkod tuwing election kasi more than 12 hours, 17 hours nilalaan namin,” teacher Roel Mape shared.

(It is very difficult for a teacher to serve in the elections because we spend more than 12 hours, 17 hours for it.)

"Sa ngayon marami nagdududa at naga-alinlangan na magserve kasi magkano ba ang matatanggap na honorarium ngayong election?... Hindi namin sure kung ligtas kami sa COVID or kung sa anong maaring mangyari," he added.

(Right now a lot are worrying about serving in the elections, because how much honorarium will we get?...We are also not sure if we will be protected against COVID or anything that will happen.)

According to the Comelec, the budget for the 2022 polls was cut to more than half from its original request of P47 billion. The Department of Education also earlier appealed to Comelec for an P13 billion additional budget for teachers.

"Natanggalan kami ng 64 percent we submitted something like P47 billion, medyo malaki po ang putol sa 'tin a little over P20 billion, 'yan nga po ang pinangangamba namin...'Yung DepEd kasi nagbigay ng wishlist...Ang medyo nanganganib ngayon yung wishlist nila yung hinihingi nilang extra and umento dagdag sa honoraria…'Yun ang kailangan natin pagdesiyunan gaano kalaki ang ibibigay na dagdag natin," Comelec Spokesperson Dir. James Jimenez said.

(Our budget was slashed by 64 percent, we submitted something like P47 billion, our budget was reduced by a little over P20 billion, that's what we are worrying about...The DepEd already has a wishlist...What's at stake is the extra allowance they are asking for...That's what we need to decide on, on how much extra allowance we will give.)

Castro said lawmakers supporting the house resolution are determined to push for an additional budget during this week’s deliberation in Congress.

"Tignan ko muna ano ang ibinawas, pero I think that would be very sad for the teachers in the election kasi inaasahan nga nila ito," she said.

(I will look into what was deducted, but I think that woul be very sad for the teachers in the election because they are looking forward to it.)