April 15, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) 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, noted that the situation under the pandemic prompted the Department to request increased honoraria for the teaching and non-teaching personnel who will serve during the election.
“We recognize that there is a need for a higher compensation for the teachers because the risk of the COVID-19 is still here. We also made sure that the requested amount or rates prescribed are just and reasonable,” Secretary Briones said.
COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua discussed the proposed increase in the honoraria of teachers during election time and other election-related matters as early as February 8 this year.
The discussions led to the formalization of DepEd’s position through Secretary Briones’ letter to COMELEC, after internal discussions spearheaded by the Office of Undersecretary for Administration, along with the Bureau of Human Resources and Organizational Development (BHROD) and the Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), among others.
Based on the proposal of the Department, the recommended compensation for the Chairperson of Electoral Boards is Php, 9.000.00 while the members of the board will have Php 8,000.00.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education Supervisor Official (DESO) and the Support Staff should be compensated with Php 7,000.00 and Php 5,000.00, 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 Php 500 per day COVID-19 Hazard Pay for the authorized poll workers.
Provisions of onsite swab testing and other health services in case of the existence of COVID-19 during the election period, Php 1,000.00 allowance for food and water, and Php 2,000.00 for the transportation expenses should also be considered.
Moreover, the Department 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.
The Department 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.
“We call on all our officials and personnel to maintain neutrality, focus on non-partisan public service, and remain a beacon of integrity. We, at the Department of Education (DepEd), thank our teacher-volunteers for continuing to be on the frontline of the foremost exercise of democracy in the country,” Briones said.