Former Sen. Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos, Jr. said on Monday that teachers who will serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in the upcoming 2022 elections should have more benefits given the increased risks of working during a pandemic.
Marcos, who previously called for the inclusion of non-medical frontliners as recipients of Special Risk Allowance (SRA) benefits, is now also making a similar appeal to the government on behalf of the teachers.
“Matindi ang susuungin na peligro ng mga teachers natin sa paparating na halalan. Mas marami ang inaasahang boboto at pahahabain rin ang oras ng pagboto. Ang lahat ng ito ay sapat na dahilan upang bigyan rin natin sila ng benepisyong kahalintulad ng SRAs para sa mga medical frontliners,” Marcos said in Filipino.
Marcos noted the increased number of voters and the expected lengthening of voting hours mean higher risks for teachers working in the polling precincts.
"Mas malalantad sa peligro ang mga guro natin sa 2022 elections dahil bukod sa inaasahang mas marami ang botante, inaasahang dadagdagan rin ang oras ng pagboto," Marcos said.
"Mangangahulugan lamang na tataas ng more than 100% ang exposure at peligro na pagdaraanan ng ating mga guro," Marcos added.
Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas said recently that there are already 63 million voters for the upcoming 2022 elections. This figure is still expected to climb after the poll body allowed a one-month extension of voter registrations.
The poll body also said that there is a high probability that voting hours for next year's elections may extend from 8 to 10 or 12 hours.
The former senator also appealed to the government to restore the hazard pay to teachers serving as BEIs every election after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) admitted last month that the hazard pay for teachers was not included in its proposed budget for 2022.
"Mas kumplikado at mas maraming kaakibat na panganib ang eleksiyon sa darating na taon dala ng pandemya, kaya’t tayo ay nananawagan sa pamahalaan na mapondohan ang taunang hazard pay na binibigay sa mga guro na nagsisilbi bilang Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)," Marcos said.