HOUSE LAWMAKERS filed a resolution on Aug. 27 urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to increase the honoraria granted to public school teachers for election duties.   

Filed by representatives belonging to the Makabayan bloc, House Resolution 2181 asks the poll body to consider the rates recommended by the group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers).   

ACT-Teachers recommended that benefits mandated by Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act be increased to P10,000 for chairpersons of electoral boards, P9,000 for electoral board members, P7,000 for support staff, P3,000 to P5,000 for travel allowance, and P2,500 for food allowance, among others.  

Rates under the law are currently set at P6,000 for electoral board chair, P5,000 for members, P2,000 for support staff, and P1,000 for additional travel allowance.  

The solons noted that the law requires a review of the honoraria by Comelec in coordination with the Department of Education every three years from effectivity, which was in April 2016.  

“While it is true that poll workers are volunteers who undertake election duties and accept the attendant risks by choice, it is also true that they render an extraordinary service… to ensure the sanctity of a democratic exercise. Indeed, it would be unjust if the government pays election frontliners pre-pandemic compensation during these pandemic times,” according to the proposal. — Russell Louis C. Ku