DepEd chief calls for higher, tax-free pay for teachers in village polls
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has appealed for a higher, tax-free honorarium and travel allowance for teachers, who will render service in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Briones urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to uphold the welfare and protection of teachers who will volunteer in the village elections this May 14.
“DepEd (Department of Education) teachers and personnel have long been at the forefront of every electoral exercise in the country; with their immense experience in carrying out this enormous task in clustered precincts of huge populations, we deem that evaluation and discussion on the possible increase in honoraria and allowance are just and necessary,” Briones said in a press statement on Thursday.
Last April 23, the Education chief also said that teachers’ allowance should not be taxed.
Briones pointed out that prior to the implementation of Republic Act 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA), no poll honoraria were ever subjected to income tax.
Now that the law has improved the compensation package of volunteer-teachers, she said “it is only fitting that they truly benefit from their hard-earned compensation.”
ESRA currently provides higher honoraria, additional travel allowance, service credits, legal indemnification package, medical assistance, and death benefit for teachers and personnel who will volunteer during elections.
Briones further requested Comelec to authorize a disbursing officer who will be allowed to expend cash advance for medical expenses of teachers who will serve in the Electoral Boards.
If granted, she said, this would replace the common practice of medical reimbursements and help teachers who may need immediate hospital treatment and/or admission.
On top of the five days service credit mandated by ESRA in view of the manual conduct of elections, Briones also called for an additional two days service credits. /kga
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