MANILA— A teachers' group on Thursday renewed its call for government to raise the honoraria of education personnel who will serve as poll workers in the 2022 elections, which will see longer voting hours.
"The longer voting hours as announced by Comelec (Commission on Elections) yesterday further justifies the need to substantially raise the pay of frontliners in the coming elections," said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
The Comelec announced on Wednesday that voting hours on the May 9, 2022 elections would be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., an hour longer from the last elections.
This, as the voting process is expected to be longer with pandemic protocol to be enforced on election day, among them physical distancing in polling precincts.
Basilio said chairpersons of electoral boards should be paid P10,000, just P1,000 higher than the increased honoraria that Comelec earlier approved.
Electoral board members and DepEd Supervisor Officials (DESO) should be paid P9,000 and P8,000, respectively, Basilio said.
ACT also proposed to raise travel allowances from P1,000 to P3,000 and P5,000 for poll workers in urban and rural areas, respectively, citing higher transportation costs due to the recent rise in oil prices.
Poll workers should also be given a P500 hazard pay "due to the perilous context of the 2022 elections."
Basilio said there should also be "overtime pay for services rendered in excess of 24 hours on election day, which has been a problem in previous elections."
"We urge Comelec to respond to these demands [as soon as possible] as the commission may be faced with more and more concerns as election nears," he said.
In June, Comelec approved the Department of Education's request to raise the pay of teaching and non-teaching personnel who would serve in next year's elections:
- Chairpersons of electoral boards - P9,000 from P6,000
- Board members - P8,000 from P5,000
- DESO - P7,000 from P4,000
But the Department of Budget and Management later slashed the poll body's proposed 2022 budget from P41.993 to P26.498.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez has said the budget cut is seen to affect the honoraria increase for education workers.