Sans tax break, pay hike for teachers working for poll duty remains inadequate — ACT
MANILA, Philippines — With no tax exemption of election duty honoraria, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Friday said the pay hike for teachers serving as electoral boards in the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in October will remain “inadequate.”
The teachers’ group made the statement after the Commission on Elections announced a higher pay for election board chairperson, members and support staff in the BSKE this year will receive P10,000, P9,000, and P8,000, respectively – higher than the P6,000, P5,000, and P4,000 under the existing policy.
READ: Comelec: Teachers serving in 2023 Barangay and SK polls to get higher pay
“Despite the increases, the net honoraria will remain inadequate if the 20% tax deduction will be applied on the said amounts,” ACT chairperson Vladimer Quetua said.
He noted that with tax deductions, election board chairpersons will be getting P8,000, members will receive P7,200, while support staff will take home P6,400.
“These do not satisfactorily compensate for the hard work and dangers faced by our election workers for several days of training and preparations, and more than 24 hours of duty on the day of the manual elections,” Quetua argued.
In July last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vetoed a bill granting tax breaks to the honoraria, allowances and other benefits given to election workers, with most of them being public school teachers.
READ: Marcos vetoes bill allowing tax breaks for poll workers
“If only President Marcos did not veto during his first days in office the tax-free election service compensation bill, which we have painstakingly lobbied for to pass both the lower house and Senate plenaries, our poll workers would have been enjoying substantial election service pay since last May 2022 elections. The present government only owes it to our teachers to ensure that the P8,000 to P10,000 set honoraria will be received in net,” Quetua said.
He further pressed for the travel allowance of poll workers to be increased to P3,000, citing higher costs of commute and the bulkier election paraphernalia in the manual elections which will need transporting.
A food allowance of P2,500 should also be given to every poll worker since, according to Quetua, it is no longer just to take a part of their already meager honorarium to pay for their food during the
“Our teachers thought that it was really shameless of President Marcos, who was convicted for a P203 billion-worth tax evasion case, to reject the tax-exemption on election service bill. It is his chance now to undo his blunder by giving our poll workers P10,000 net honorarium and increased allowances,” he went on.
In 2021, the Bureau of Internal Revenue sent a demand letter to Marcos to pay their estate tax dues, which amounted to about P203 billion from about P23 billion in 1998.
READ: BIR vows to study Marcos Jr. estate tax case
A Supreme Court ruling showed that the Marcoses’ estate tax assessment of P23 billion became “final and executory” in March 1999.
READ: Court records show Bongbong Marcos did not pay penalty in tax evasion case — petitioners
But in September 2022, Marcos said his family’s P203-billion unpaid estate taxes should be reopened, saying they were never allowed to argue about the case. Meralyn Melitante, INQUIRER.net trainee
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