DepEd wants higher compensation for teachers, poll workers for 2022 elections
MANILA, Philippines — Teachers and other poll workers who would be in the forefront of the 2022 national elections should receive higher compensation and additional benefits, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Thursday.
In a statement, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, who wrote a letter to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Sheriff Abas last February 15, stressed that teachers would be facing a difficult task of carrying out their duty while the COVID-19 pandemic still threatening public health.
Teachers are one of the frontline poll personnel come election time, as they act as facilitators inside polling precincts being chairperson and members of the Board of Election Inspectors.
“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,” Briones said.
There are several things that DepEd is asking to ensure the safety and compensation of poll workers and teachers: according to the department, the Department of Education Supervisor Official (DESO) should be compensated with P7,000, and the Support Staff, P5,000 in consideration of “the prevailing Consumer Price Index and Inflation Rate as of January 2021.”
“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,” DepEd said.
Aside from this, DepEd also asked Comelec for a P500 COVID-19 hazard pay per day for the poll workers, plus onsite swab testing and other health services to prevent outbreaks during the elections.
“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,” DepEd said.
“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,” it added.
For her part, Briones called on DepEd personnel to ensure that they would actively participate in the preparations for, and the conduct of the upcoming elections while maintaining neutrality.
“We call on all our officials and personnel to maintain neutrality, focus on non-partisan public service, and remain a beacon of integrity,” Briones said.
“We, at the Department of Education, thank our teacher-volunteers for continuing to be on the frontline of the foremost exercise of democracy in the country,” she added.
While the elections are still over a year away, it remains unclear whether the country would be able to beat the COVID-19 pandemic even before the 2022 elections. As of Thursday, the country now has 183,527 active COVID-19 cases, after 11,429 new infections were confirmed by the Department of Health. The death toll meanwhile is at 15,594.
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