In light of the longer voting hours in the 2022 elections, a group of education workers reiterated its demand for P10,000 poll service pay - especially for the chairpersons of the Electoral Board.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Thursday, Nov. 11, said that the longer voting hours as announced by the Commission on Election (Comelec) further “justifies the need to substantially raise the pay of frontliners in the coming elections.”
ACT welcomed the pronouncement of Comelec that the electoral board and support staff will be paid P3,000 more as voting hours will be be longer in the 2022 elections.
“We’re happy to hear that they will increase all poll workers’ pay by P3,000, but we hope that the government will heed our specific demands,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
“As we all know, the 2022 election are expected to be rife with many challenges,” he said. “Our teachers who will be serving in this important day should be well-compensated and should have sufficient support,” he added.
Likewise, ACT called for the pay for electoral board members and DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO) to be raised to P9,000 for electoral board and P8,000 respectively, as well as for an increase in the allowances, welfare, and protective measures for all poll workers.
ACT further called on the Comelec to increase the travel allowance from P1,000 to P3,000 for those in urban areas or city proper and P5,000 for those in rural areas.
Basilio noted that this is because “transportation are a lot harder and more costly now since the pandemic hit and with the rising oil prices.”
ACT said that an additional P500 for hazard pay was also requested due to the “perilous context” of the 2022 elections due to the public health situation in the country.
The group is also asking the Comelec to prepare the granting of overtime pay for services rendered in excess of 24 hours on election day which, Basilio said, has been a “problem” in previous elections.
Given this, ACT urged Comelec to respond to these demands as soon as possible as the commission may be “faced with more and more concerns” as election nears.
“It is best that these matters of fair compensation be settled immediately, of course with the help of our legislators who are tackling Comelec’s 2022 budget,” Basilio said.
“Ensuring sufficient pay and protection for poll workers shall be part of the priorities of our duly elected lawmakers,” he added.
Meanwhile, ACT expressed hope that with the slashes in budget of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), its calls for “greater support” for frontliners will be taken into consideration.
“Aside from being voters themselves, teachers play incredibly important roles all year round plus on election day,” Basilio said. “It’s only just that they be given ample remuneration for their services,” he added.