ACT calls for higher honoraria and allowances

Published December 7, 2021, 12:44 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines is seeking a dialogue with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to tackle their demand for bigger election service compensation.

ACT protest action in front of Comelec

In a statement, ACT said the Commission has yet to respond to their urgent request for dialogue submitted last Nov. 25.

“We are calling on Comelec to address the pressing issues of teachers who will serve as its frontliners in the coming 2022 national elections. The most urgent of which is our unmet demand for higher honoraria and allowances,” the group said.

ACT NCR Union President Vladimer Queta said the commission should at once resolve the welfare concerns of its main machinery, which should be part of the preps for the big day.

The group earlier expressed dismay at the paltry poll worker pay hike as detailed in COMELEC Resolution 10727, and sought for the following increases: for Chairpersons of the Electoral Board (EB), from P7,000 to Php10,000; for EB members, from Php6,000 to P9,000; for DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO), from Php5,000 to P8,000; and, for Support Staff, from P3,000 to P7,000. The group also pushed for the raising of travel allowances from the current P2,000 to at least P3,000 for those in urban areas or city proper and up to P5,000 for those coming from more remote areas.

The group said that the P500 Anti-COVID-19 Allowance should also be provided to Chairpersons as they are just as at risk of infection as the rest their team.

“An increase in poll workers’ honoraria of at least P3,000 across the board and the rest of the adjustments in allowances we are demanding will only amount to a total of about P2-billion-a small amount that can give due recognition and proper remuneration to those who will be at the frontlines of possibly one of the most taxing elections considering the circumstances. We are certain that Comelec has the capacity to accommodate such fair demands,” said Quetua Other issues raised by the group included the provision of overtime pay for the foreseeable extended election service hours; increase in the grant of service credits from 5 days to 10 days as earlier committed to by the commission; questions on the mode of payment of election service compensation, and ensuring of COVID-19 testing, preventive measures, and treatment support to poll workers.

The group also proposed possible collaboration efforts with Comelec, particularly for info-education drive on relevant laws and policies to poll workers and for the setting up of hotlines for poll work concerns.

“We reiterate that the Comelec should ensure the welfare of teacher-poll workers while we do our duty of ensuring the proper conduct of the elections. Settle our concerns right now, so we can better work together in providing services to the Filipino people on this important undertaking said Quetua.

ACT staged a protest action at the main office of the Comelec in Intramuros, Manila, Tuesday.