/ 17 May 2022

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers urged the Commission on Elections to grant a P3,000 across-the-board extra compensation for poll work duty that extended beyond 24 hours on election day.

The group provided an initial list of 1,036 electoral board members who reportedly rendered more than 24 hours of election service.

“We have called for the granting of overtime pay to poll workers since our very first letter to Comelec regarding this year’s elections, which we sent them almost exactly a year ago today. And so, we very much welcome their positive response to our demand after some fuss at the beginning,” the group said.

“This is a great feat borne out of teacher-poll workers’ unrelenting fight for fair pay not only this election, but which started in the 2019 mid-term polls where scores of teachers had to continue rendering election service for up to two days after election day,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

Most teachers who rendered extra hours of work cited malfunctioning vote counting machines or problems with SD cards as the reason.

“Our EBs have always borne the brunt of several machine malfunctions and other irregularities with the conduct of elections. Being at the frontlines of every election is never easy, but our teachers continue to voluntarily offer their services to facilitate the proper conduct of polls. There are however so much that makes or breaks the integrity of the elections, most of which are beyond the control of our EBs and have occurred way before election day. Nevertheless, teacher-poll workers deserve to be properly compensated for all their hard work,” Basilio said.

ACT said that it will continue to push the scrapping of the 20 percent tax on election service compensation.

“We honor our teachers, our election frontliners, by fighting alongside them for the government to ensure their welfare and rights—as we always have. We likewise demand accountability from the government for the many problems that unjustly fell on the shoulder of teachers and have resulted in various problems that taint the integrity of the 2022 national and local elections,” Basilio said.