The situation brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic prompted the Department of Education (DepEd) to request increased honoraria for the teaching and non-teaching personnel who will serve during the election next year.
DepEd, in a statement issued Thursday, April 15, confirmed that the agency has reached out to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide additional compensation and benefits to poll workers for the upcoming 2022 National and Local Elections.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, in her formal letter to Comelec Chairman Sheriff M. Abas dated February 15, made this request.
“We recognize that there is a need for higher compensation for the teachers because the risk of the COVID-19 is still here,” Briones said. “We also made sure that the requested amount or rates prescribed are just and reasonable,” she added.
Based on the proposal of the DepEd, the recommended compensation for the Chairperson of Electoral Boards is P9,000 while the members of the board will have P8,000.
Meanwhile, the agency noted that the DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO) and the Support Staff should be compensated with P7,000 and P5,000, respectively. considering the prevailing Consumer Price Index and Inflation Rate as of January 2021.
Aside from the benefits provided by the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA) and its IRR, the DepEd also requested P500 per day COVID-19 Hazard Pay for the authorized poll workers.
DepEd is also requesting for the provisions of onsite swab testing and other health services in case of the existence of COVID-19 during the election period, P1,000 allowance for food and water, and P2,000 for the transportation expenses.
Moreover, the DepEd also asked for the grant of honoraria for the selected members of the Comelec-DepEd Monitoring and Coordination teams from the Central and Field Offices under the 2022 DepEd Election Task Force.
“These teams will ensure that teachers will be provided with adequate information, technical and legal assistance in performing their respective roles in the election,” DepEd said.
Likewise, DepEd also proposed that “teachers should only work only for eight hours at maximum, including the preparation and the post-election activities while it also requested for provision of funds for the maintenance and repair of schools that will be used as voting centers.”
Briones also urged the DepEd officials to “actively participate in the upcoming elections with integrity and honesty as the country aims to have a peaceful and fair election.”
She also called on all DepEd officials and personnel to maintain neutrality, focus on non-partisan public service, and remain a beacon of integrity.
“We, at the DepEd, thank our teacher-volunteers for continuing to be on the frontline of the foremost exercise of democracy in the country,” Briones ended.