/ 5 March 2022

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers bewailed the Commission on Election’s lack of response to their requests for dialogue to tackle the concerns of teachers who will serve in this year’s elections.

These concerns include the compensation of poll workers in light of the P200-million additional budget given to the Comelec.

“We understand that the Comelec may be swamped with electoral concerns now that campaign season has opened, but we argue that the welfare of its poll workers needs to be included in its priorities,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

“After all, we will be at the frontlines of one of the most polarized elections, to say the least, in recent history. It’s in the best interest of the country to ensure that teacher-poll workers’ concerns are heard and addressed, and that they are fully equipped for their pivotal role in the May 9 polls,” he added.

ACT questioned the poor compensation for members of the Board of Election Inspectors. It said that the P7,000 honoraria and P2,000 allowance do not respond to the dire economic situation of teachers.

“The Comelec should discuss with teacher-poll workers how best to utilize the P200-million additional funds to improve the compensation and over-all welfare of about 250,000 poll workers. Our BEIs will be responsible for up to 800 voters per precinct, since we have about 67.5 million registered voters! The high stakes for this election cannot be overstated, and Comelec should afford its frontliners the best pay and protection they can,” Basilio said, adding that the poll body should set a dialogue with teachers.

“The elections will only go as well as its preparations. We urge Comelec to resolve the many issues raised by its constituents and frontliners as soon as possible,” he added.