Bacolod City—Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon has pushed for additional pay for poll workers from local government units as well as teachers who rendered overtime during the May 13 midterm polls.
“We should issue a resolution encouraging or endorsing to the LGUs to pay overtime those who served in the elections,” Guanzon said in an interview with reporters here Friday afternoon—with the Comelec still to tackle the appeal for additional payment.
“Again, like all petitions that have to be discussed by the en banc, so I can’t give you any answer,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview Saturday.
Jimenez was reacting to the appeal of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, an organization of teachers, academic non-teaching personnel and non-academic non-teaching personnel, for additional compensation for teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors beyond the voting period last Monday.
Guanzon was in the city to witness the proclamation of her elder brother, Sixto Guanzon, who was elected board member of the second district of Negros Occidental.
The Guanzons hail from Cadiz City, where the Comelec commissioner once served as mayor.
At the same time, the Comelec has yet to tackle the appeal for additional payment for teachers who served overtime during the conduct of the May 13 midterm polls.
Guanzon said employees of LGUs, such as social workers, day care workers, health workers, and staff of the treasurer’s office who worked beyond Monday’s elections, should receive additional pay.
Guanzon also said there was a proposal from one of her colleagues that teachers who rendered overtime should also be given added compensation.
“I think it will pass. I will support that [resolution],” she said.
She noted that as of Friday, some teachers were still manning certain precincts where the SD [secure digital] cards have not yet been completely reconfigured.
Negros Occidental Provincial Election supervisor Salud Milagros Villanueva said that under normal conditions, the canvassing of votes in clustered precincts should have been finished by the Electoral Boards by Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
However, cases of defective SD cards have delayed the canvassing for two to three days in some 30 clustered precincts in the province.
Villanueva also said Comelec-Negros Occidental has already begun releasing the honorarium of the EBs and other school personnel who rendered election duties.
The chairman of the EB receives P6,000 while the poll clerk and the third member are given P5,000 each as stated in the Election Service Reform Act.
The Department of Education Supervising Officer gets P4,000 and the DESO support staff, P2,000.
They are also provided a travel allowance of P1,000 each.
“We call on the concerned agencies to give justice to the immeasurable sacrifice of teacher-poll workers. At the minimum, they shall ensure that all those who rendered extended poll service due to Comelec’s inefficiency be properly compensated and provided additional service credit. They have been denied their much-needed and deserved rest. Maawa naman kayo sa mga guro (Have mercy on teachers),” he said.
He noted some 10,000 teachers had rendered nearly 60 hours straight of election service, pending the transmission of results from the vote counting machines on election day.
The Comelec-Employees’ Union expressed support for the teachers’ request.