By GABRIEL S. MABUTAS | Manila Bulletin
Lawmakers urged the Commission on Election (Comelec) on Thursday to ensure the prompt release of allowances for the 300,000 teachers who will be performing their roles as election inspectors in the May 10 election.
Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos (2nd District, Ilocos Norte) and Rep. Danilo Suarez (3rd District, Quezon) made the call separately as they noted that the usual delay in the release of the allowances either force teachers to shell out for their food and transportation, or the congressmen who provide for the former.
Marcos, who is running as guest senatorial candidate of the Nacionalista Party (NP), lamented that most often during the elections teachers performing poll duties do not get their honoraria or allowances on time that they are forced to shell out for their food and transportation.
“Since teachers will make a great sacrifice during the elections the Comelec must make sure to have them paid promptly. Worse is that they are being paid on installment and it takes time for them to get their balance payment afterwards,” Marcos said.
Aside from Comelec, Marcos said the Department of Education must do something to avoid another delay in the release of teachers’ allowances for the May 10 elections.
For this year’s elections, teachers will be assigned to man some 80,000 clustered precincts as compared to the 250,000 during past elections. The Comelec used to tap 700,000 public school teachers in previous polls.
“Congress has allocated huge funds for the poll automation. I don’t think it would be too much if Comelec will prioritize the release of the P4, 000 allowance for every teacher assigned in the elections,” Marcos said.
Suarez, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, on the other hand, said the release of teachers’ allowances should be on-time because more often that not, it is “us who provide food for them.