/ 18 November 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers called on legislators to allocate an additional P2 billion for poll workers’ honoraria and allowances.

“Our teachers will yet again be at the frontlines of another election. In the midst of the pandemic and clearly tumultuous political climate, we hope that our duly elected legislators will exhaust all means to ensure that our poll workers will be adequately compensated and protected in the line of duty come May 2022. We have no doubts that the country has enough resources to cover the additional P2-billion needed for this,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

Basilio explained that the additional fund will enable the Comission on Elections to grant P10,000 honorarium and P500 anti-Covid allowance for Electoral Board chairpersons; P9,000 honorarium for EB members; P8,000 honorarium for supervisors; P7,000 honorarium for support staff; P2,500 for food allowance of every poll worker and at least P3,000 for travel allowance.

The group also called for the provision of easily accessible legal and medical services in polling precincts which can be provided to poll workers and voters.

“Maliit na halaga lang ito kung tutuusin, ngunit malaking ambag sa pagsasaayos ng kondukta ng halalang 2022. Maliit ang P2 bilyon para maibigay ang karampatang kompensasyon sa mga tagapangalaga ng boto ng nasa 65 milyong Pilipino sa darating na eleksyon,” Basilio said.

ACT said that the funding can be sourced from the proposed 2022 budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict which is being “rightfully slashed” in the Senate.

The group argued that the country has more to gain from raising the Comelec’s budget for poll workers than from continuing any funding for the “rabid red-tagging task force.”