‘Nasaan ang hustisya?’: Groups decry 20% tax on teacher-poll workers’ pay

Published March 17, 2022, 4:40 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Groups of teachers and education workers decried the 20 percent tax on honorarium for teachers who will serve as poll workers in the upcoming 2022 elections in May.

Public school teachers undergo training in Manila for the May 2022 elections. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Our teachers who chose to sit in the election despite the security and health risks and even if the honorarium is small, should be given more incentives and not taxed,” Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairperson Benjo Basas said on Thursday, March 17.

Citing reports from TDC members who attended training for the 2022 May elections, Basas alleged P200 was deducted from the P1,000 given to teachers as a transportation allowance.

Ryan Dela Cruz, a teacher from Muntinlupa City, claimed that he was among the teachers who received P800 instead of P1,000 as allowance during the training.

“Nagulat nga kami kasi pinaghahanda pa ng P200 ang mga teacher para maging sukli sa iaabot nilang P1,000 (We are really surprised because the teachers were asked to prepare P200 to as change for the P1,000 they will give us),” Dela Cruz said.

Based on the Resolution 10727 of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), TDC said that the honorarium for teachers who will sit as members of the Electoral Board is P7,000 for the chairman and P6,000 for the members — with P2,000 as transportation allowance.

Given this, TDC called on the Comelec and the Department of Education (DepEd) — as well as to legislators — to ask the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to suspend collecting taxes from the poll workers because this is an “injustice” for them.

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said that the 20 percent tax on compensation of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) “fully diminished” their poll work pay hike.

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio explained that subjecting poll workers’ pay to 20 percent tax will result in a net pay of P7,200.

This, Basilio said, is P1,350 lower than their 2019 net compensation of P8,550 after five percent tax was deducted from the P6,000 honorarium, P1,000 travel allowance, and P2,000 training allowance.

“Yung kakarampot na itinaas sa kompensasyon ng BEIs, binawi lang din ng higante at walang katuwirang 20 percent tax. Nasaan naman ang hustisya rito? (The meager increase in the compensation of BEIs was revoked by the giant and unreasonable 20 percent tax. Where is the justice here?),” Basilio said.