Comelec’s Garcia seeks more honoraria for teachers who worked overtime during polls
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia has recommended the granting of additional honoraria to teachers who had to render service “twice, thrice, or more than their duty hours” due to technical issues.
In a memorandum dated May 13, Garcia pointed out the concerns raised by teachers who served as members of the electoral board, and other support staff who “were forced to render extended election service due to defective or corrupted secure digital (SD) cards and malfunctioning vote-counting machines (VCMS).”
“In recognition of their invaluable service to ensure the successful conduct of the elections, the undersigned respectfully recommends the grant of additional honorarium to members of the EB (electoral board), DESO (Department of Education supervisor official), and DESO Technical Support Staff who were assigned to polling precincts that encountered malfunctioning VCMs and SD cards,” Garcia said in his memorandum.
At least 1,800 VCMS and SD cards were deemed “defective on election day” Garcia noted.
A total of 1,867 polling precincts encountered these issues, he added.
“The said technical difficulties and problems with SD cards and VCMs have forced thousands of teachers to render poll service twice, thrice, or more than their duty hours. In some precincts, voting took nearly twenty-four (24) hours,” he said.
“Aside from the extended service of the teachers, they also had to allay the anxiety and fears of voters who complained of queueing up for long hours just to cast their votes in the said polling precincts,” he added.
Garcia pointed out that similar incidents in 2019 led to the granting of additional honoraria to teachers who served as members of the EB, DESO and their respective support staff.
“The teachers’ loss of time to rest and be with their families, as well as their loss of opportunity to find other sources of income must be considered,” Garcia’s recommendation further read.
“As our partner during elections, we must ensure that the teachers and support staff, whose sacrifices during election day are unparalleled, are fairly compensated for the work done,” he added.