DepEd urges Comelec to raise BEIs’ allowances

May 16, 2010 12:15 pm 

MANILA, May 16 — The Department of Education (DepEd) is strongly supporting calls made by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), ASSERT, Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) and other teachers’ groups to raise the honoraria of teachers who served as BEI in Monday’s election as a way to recognize their instrumental role in the success of the country’s first automated elections.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno also thanked Comelec for granting an additional P2,000 to the allowance of teachers serving as members of the Random Manual Audit Teams (RMAT) but nonetheless asked the poll body to extend the same benefit to the teachers who served as BEI.

Some 229,200 teachers served as BEIs in the last elections nationwide.

“The additional compensation to the RMAT members is a good start and we thank Comelec for that but our commissioners should not forget that it was the BEIs that really made the difference last Monday. So if the RMA deserves a raise, why not the BEIs?” she said.

“Many sectors have recognized that our teachers went beyond the call of duty to make automation work hence, the call of our teachers is clearly justified,” she added.

Valisno said she understood why teachers were clamoring for the added benefit. “We saw it for ourselves. Our teachers braved the huge crowds, they absorbed the ire and frustration of voters, they resolved technical issues sometimes without the assistance of the Smartmatic technician, but most importantly, they gave credibility to these elections. So, I don’t think this is too much to ask.”

She added she will leave it to the Comelec to determine how much they can allocate since this will be subject to the availability of funds, however, if the same added benefit given to the RMAT will also be given to the BEI, she finds it reasonable.

“At the end of the day, it was our teachers who made automation work despite the logistical problems brought about by clustering and technical malfunctions. I hope Comelec recognizes this,” she said.

She likewise added that the poll body has assured the Department that all BEIs will receive their honorarium within 15 days from election day as stipulated in the MOA between Comelec and DepEd. (PNA)

LDV/HCT

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