June 3, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) acquired the approval of the Commission of Elections (COMELEC) in increasing the honoraria of teachers who will serve as Electoral Board (EB) and Poll Workers in the upcoming 2022 National and Local Elections.
In February 2021, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reached out to Comelec through a formal letter and explained the Department’s proposal to increase the honoraria of teaching and non-teaching personnel who will serve during the election due to the public health situation.
“We want to express our gratitude to the COMELEC for approving our request for higher compensation for our teachers that will render their services in the next year’s election. Given the current health situation, it is rightful for them to receive additional allowance,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
In a response letter of COMELEC Chairman Sheriff Abas dated April 29, through Executive Director Bartolome J. Sinocruz, Jr., the Commission fully supported the adjusted honoraria, which gets bumped up to a Php3,000.00 increase.
In the proposal, the Department prescribed the following honoraria rates based on the Consumer Price Index and Inflation Rate as of January 2021: Php9,000.00 for Chairpersons; Php8,000.00 for EB members; Php7,000.00 for DepEd Supervisor Official (DESO); and Php5,000.00 for Support Staff.
In addition to the remuneration, Comelec will include the provision of transportation allowance, food and water allowance, and clean-up and repair/maintenance expenses as part of its budget proposal for the 2022 elections.
With the current risk of COVID-19, DepEd’s request for health insurance coverage for those who will be infected with the virus will also be part of the budget proposal. Other benefits such as on-site swab testing, shifting, and working hours of public school teachers in the EB, tax exemption, and any absence/transfer/leave of DepEd employees due to election-related incidents will still be studied by the Commission and the Department.
To ensure that teachers will be technically and legally equipped for the upcoming elections, the Department has also proposed the creation of COMELEC-DepEd Monitoring and Coordination Teams as part of the 2022 DepEd Election Task Force, composed of select officials and personnel from the different levels of DepEd governance. According to the Commission, the honoraria for members of the Monitoring and Coordination Teams will also be put forward in the budget.
“With DepEd and the teachers’ vital participation in the 2022 National and Local Elections, we will continue our dialogue with COMELEC to ensure the health and welfare of our teachers and personnel who will be sitting in the polling,” Briones noted.
Before coming up with the decision, COMELEC Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua discussed the said matter as early as February 8 this year. DepEd’s Bureau of Human Resources and Organizational Development (BHROD) calculated the rate increase.
“While DepEd and COMELEC have both agreed on the proposal, the proposed increase will still need the approval of Congress when they deliberate the annual budget” Undersecretary Pascua said.