Group asks Comelec for additional compensation for teachers

May 13, 2010 7:38 pm 

By Hannibal C. Talete

MANILA, May 13 — Another teachers' group on Thursday appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for additional compensation for the teachers who served in the May 10 automated elections.

In their statement, Fidel Fababier, secretary general of the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) said: “Teachers which served last May 10 deserve more than praise from the Comelec. Thanks from Comelec is glad to hear, but better if it’s accompanied by additional pesos in our pay envelopes.”

Fababier said that additional compensation should be given the teachers since they face the problems from the “disastrous” clustering of precincts that resulted in the long queues to the inadequate training given to teachers to technical glitches of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

“It was the teachers who were made to cope with and was expected to prevail against all odds,” he said.

He also said that by giving additional compensation, the poll body could show their appreciation for the teachers who served in the polls.

The group also urged the Comelec to consider revising Resolution 8798, which only provides 30 minutes for those teachers acting as Board of Elections Inspectors (BEI) and provide for longer period to vote.

Earlier, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) demanded an additional P2, 000 in compensation for poll duties last May 10.

Antonio Tinio, ACT national president said that the additional pay is justified because teachers had to put in extra days of work as a result of the massive recall of wrongly configured Compact Flash (CF) cards and the re-testing of the PCOS machines in the days leading up to election day.

“Aside from this, they also had to contend with the extension of voting hours by one hour and the difficult work they had to put in on Election Day as a result of the clustering of precincts, where you had three BEIs attending to up to 1,000 voters,” he said.

Tinio said that with about 229,020 BEIs manning some 76, 340 clustered precincts nationwide, their call for additional pay of P 2,000 would cost the government P 440 million.

“It’s a substantial amount but our teachers deserve it. COMELEC has spent over P 7 billion on the machines, but far too little for the people who made them work,” he said.

Earlier, Education Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Franklin Sunga said they were already coordinating with the poll body for the prompt release of the teachers’ payment amounting to P6, 300.

The P6, 300 is divided into P3, 000 as honorarium, P2, 000 training allowance, P300 transportation expenses, P500 for the sealing of book of voters and another P500 for the final testing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the first ever nationwide automated election. (PNA)

RMA/HCT

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