Comelec: Hazard pay for BEIs not in proposed 2022 budget
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed budget of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for 2022 does not include the hazard pay of those who will be serving at the national and local polls, its chairman said Friday.
Comelec chair Sheriff Abas made this disclosure when asked by ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Castro about a possible hazard pay for members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) during a House budget hearing.
“Dagdag ko na lang po doon sa hinihiling natin para sa mga BEI, sana maconsider din po ‘yung service risk allowance din dahil ito po ay pandemya. Dapat maconsider din ‘yung katumbas na SRA (special risk allowance) ng health workers o tinatawag nating hazard pay during the day at saka ‘yung service credits, nasa batas po minimum of five days ang service credits. Sana madagdagan,” Castro told Abas.
(I just want to add to our requests for the benefits of BEIs. I hope you will also consider a special risk allowance because we are in a pandemic. We should consider a counterpart of the health workers’ SRA and service credits. The law says we should give five days of service credits. I hope this will be increased.)
But according to Abas, funds for the hazard pay of BEI members were not approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The Comelec is asking for a P41.9-billion budget for 2022 but the DBM approved P26 billion.
“Titingnan po namin kung makakadagdag kami ng service credit. As to hazard pay po, we ask that to DBM. Unfortunately hindi nabigay ‘yung hazard pay. So sa ngayon sa budget namin ngayon, hindi kasama ang hazard pay,” he said.
(We are looking at whether we can add service credits. As to the hazard pay, we asked that to DBM. Unfortunately, it was not approved. Right now, our budget does not cover hazard pay.)