[Press Release] Teachers recognize Senate approval of optional poll duties, reiterate higher pay for teachers sitting as election workers -TDC

Teachers recognize Senate approval of optional poll duties,
reiterate higher pay for teachers sitting as election workers

Public school teachers welcome the Senate approval of Election Service Reform Act (ESRA) on third and final reading the other day. The bill seeks to make election duty non-compulsory for state teachers.

“Under the existing laws, teachers are compelled to work as election inspectors and a mere refusal may constitute an election offense.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson. “Thus, we are thankful that this bill, which we are pushing since we were established in 2006 has reached this far and I believe it will soon be enacted into law because the House gave its similar affirmation last year.” He added.

Basas said teachers are thankful for the support of the legislators particularly Representative Fred Castro of Capiz and Senator Koko Pimentel, the respective chairpersons of House and Senate suffrage committees.

“We acknowledge this measure because at the moment, we cannot refuse the assignment to sit as election workers, even if this task may expose us to harm, even death. We cannot negotiate with the Comelec on the amount they want us to be paid. We can never demand for a lawyer to defend us when we are in trouble.” Basas said.

This proposal if enacted into law, however would not be implemented for national elections of May 2016, thus, they reiterate the request for a higher compensation package for teachers sitting as members of the board of election inspectors (BEI).

“We believe the P3, 000 total per diem for members of the BEI is not enough to compensate our teachers, this is one of the reasons why we want to make this duty optional.” Basas explained.

The group last year said that per diem for 2016 elections should raise to P10, 000 for every BEI member, but the Comelec Resolution 10031 relating to composition, appointment and compensation of the BEI retained the P3, 000 honoraria, ESRA provides for a total of P6, 000 for BEI chairman and P5, 000 for two other members.

“In the absence of law, the Comelec en banc may decide on our request for higher compensation.” Basas ended. #
For details: Benjo Basas, 0927-3356375

January 27, 2016

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