Comelec OKs pay hike for 2022 poll workers; fully-vaccinated 'preferred'

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 13 2021 12:16 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2021 12:20 PM

Teachers and volunteers destroy remaining excess ballots as they wrap up at a polling precinct in Aurora A. Quezon elementary school in Manila on May 13, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Teachers and volunteers destroy remaining excess ballots as they wrap up at a polling precinct in Aurora A. Quezon elementary school in Manila on May 13, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted at least a P2,000 increase in the honoraria and other allowances of poll workers who will serve in the 2022 elections.

This, following appeals for a hike as longer voting hours are set to be held in the May 2022 elections to adjust for the expected slower voting process due to pandemic protocol.

In a resolution promulgated Nov. 10 but was only made public Friday, the poll body outlined the amount to be paid to election workers.

Poll workers include the chairman of the electoral board (EB), its members, DepEd Supervising Official (DESO), support staff, and medical personnel, a new category.

Honoraria of 2022 poll workers:

* Chairperson of EB - P7,000
* Members of EB - P6,000
* DESO - P5,000
* Support staff - P3,000
* Medical personnel - P3,000

Aside from their honoraria, the EB chair, members, DESO, and support staff are also entitled to a P2,000 travel allowance, twice the 2019 rate. 

Medical personnel, meanwhile, will receive a P1,000 travel allowance on election day. 

DESO and support staff will also receive a P1,500 communication allowance.

An anti-COVID-19 allowance amounting to P500 will also be given to each poll worker.

Based on 2019 rates, next year's EB chairs were granted a P2,000 pay hike, EB members P2,500, and DESO and support staff were a P3,000 raise.

The Department of Education (DepEd) had initially appealed for a P3,000 across the board pay hike for teachers who serve as poll workers. 

However, the executive-approved 2022 Comelec budget was significantly slashed, affecting its financial capacity to increase the honoraria.

Aside from the pay hike, Comelec also said it prefers 2022 poll workers who are fully-vaccinated, without comorbidities, and below 60 years old. 

Absent in the resolution, however, are provisions regarding on-site swab testing, shifting, and tax exemption of poll workers, benefits previously pushed by some groups.

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