Maguindanao teachers complain about delayed poll service honoraria
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Maguindanao teachers have complained about the delay in the payment of their election service honararia, saying nothing has changed in the way the Commission on Elections treated public school teachers deputized to administer the May 13 midterm elections.
“We were promised the meager amount will be released the day after elections,” a teacher in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, who identified herself as “Mam Bai.”
“It’s been 14 days since elections and we are yet to receive our P4,000 honorarium … was the money timed deposit to earn interests?” she asked.
Lawyer Nasib Yasin, Maguindanao election supervisor, said his office was still working it out with the national Comelec office.
While many Maguindanao teachers are still waiting for their honorarium, teachers in North Cotabato and other provinces in the region have received and already spent their pay.
Bai Merriam Kawit, Maguindanao schools division II superintendent, admitted that many teachers who served as members of the board of election inspectors in the May 13 polls have yet to receive their honoraria, which could have added up to their children’s enrollment expenses.
Kawit, however, could not say how many teachers have yet to receive their honorarium.
“That’s a pittance, the amount could not pay the fears we had during the elections,” Bai Mam said, adding that several of their colleagues have lost lives while preparing for the balloting.
A head teacher of the Tuka Elementary School in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao, was shot dead in what police believed to be an election-related attack. A school district supervisor in SK Pendatun, Maguindanao was also shot a day before the balloting.
Another male teacher was also mauled by supporters of a candidate in Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao.
“Many of us were verbally abused by some politicians, and even voters who could not find their names, and we are only paid P4,000…delayed pa, pahirapan pa ang pag-release (it’s delayed and the release of the fund is a slow, difficult process) ,” Mam Bai, said asking she remained unidentified.
Kawit said some teachers have been considering the option of not serving in the coming barangay elections because of the dangers to their lives and their vulnerability to the ire of losing politicians.
According to Department of Education, a total 233,487 public school teachers were deputized in the May 13 elections.
It said around 122,000 of those teachers would get their honoraria through bank-issued “cash cards” while others would get their pay through their Land Bank of the Philippines ATM payroll accounts.