/ 5 April 2022

THE COMMISSION on Elections on Monday pledged to help teachers in their demand for overtime pay during election day and the abolition of the tax on their honorarium.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said that a joint memorandum circular between the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management must be approved first since Comelec is not allowed to give overtime pay to workers who are not its employees.

“Kung ako lang ang boboto, I will vote for grant of overtime para po sa ating mga guro,” he said, suggesting that teachers should forward their appeal to the CSC and DBM.

The official said the poll body will help push the teachers’ demand to the agencies concerned.

“Baka sakaling ‘yung kanilang saloobin na ‘yan, sana makatulong din ang Comelec para maiparating sa ating BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) na baka naman pupuwedeng pag-isipan nga na ‘yung in-impose na tax lalo dito sa paglilingkod nila sa araw ng halalan baka naman ma-waive na,” Garcia said in a radio interview.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers said that the P2,000 travel allowance of teachers was subjected to 20 percent tax or a P400 deduction.

The group claimed that the BIR wrongly interpreted the law in classifying the travel allowance as a form of income.

It also reiterated its appeal to the government to no longer tax the honoraria of poll workers.

In June 2021, ​the Department of Education proposed the following honoraria rates based on the Consumer Price Index and inflation rate as of January 2021: P9,000 for electoral board chairpersons; P8,000 for EB members; P7,000 for DepEd supervisors; and P5,000 for support staff.

However, on November 2021, Comelec released Resolution No. 10727, which provides the honoraria rates, allowances, and other benefits of poll workers: P7,000 honorarium for EB chairperson; P6,000 honorarium for EB members; P5,000 honorarium for DepEd supervisor official; and P3,000 honorarium for support staff.

Aside from honoraria, the EB chairperson and members, DESO, and their respective staff should each get a P2,000 travel allowance.

Every DESO and DESO technical support staff will receive a P1,500 communication allowance. EB members, DESO and their team shall each get P500 anti-Covid19 allowance.