By Elizabeth Marcelo | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is in favor of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s request for an additional P3,000 allowance for all teachers and non-teaching personnel who rendered service during the May 9 elections.
“We’ve seen your hard work and sacrifices – enduring the summer heat, staying up late, the exhaustion, sweat and security threats. (I) and (presumptive vice president) Inday Sara (Duterte-Carpio) can’t express enough how grateful we are to all of you,” Marcos said in Filipino in a press statement yesterday, addressing the teachers and other DepEd personnel who served as members of the Electoral Board (EB) during the May 9 elections.
Outgoing Education Secretary Leonor Briones had earlier written a letter to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan requesting for an additional P3,000 allowance to all teachers and non-teaching personnel for their elections-related services.
Marcos said the amount requested by Briones is “justifiable,” pointing out that “the services and sacrifices (that DepEd personnel) provided were actually unquantifiable.”
Based on the DepEd’s records, a total of 647,812 of its personnel rendered service in the last elections.
Of the figure, about 319,000 teachers sat as members of the EB, while 200,000 DepEd personnel served as supervisory election officials, in collaboration with Comelec personnel.
In the same statement, Marcos also called for the release of the honoraria and other allowances of all teachers and DepEd personnel before May 24 as stipulated in Comelec Resolution 10727.
Under the resolution, DepEd personnel who rendered election-related services are entitled to honoraria amounting to P7,000 for the chair of the EB, P6,000 for a member of the EB, P5,000 for DepEd supervisor official (DESO) and P3,000 for support staff.
The chair and members of EB, DESO and their respective staff are also entitled to P2,000 travel allowance – P1,000 for the day of final testing and sealing of the vote counting machine and P1,000 for election day.
In addition, DESOs and their technical support staff will receive a communication allowance amounting to P1,500.
Members of the EB, DESO and their teams are also entitled to COVID-19 risk allowance of P500.
Meanwhile, Marcos also lauded the personnel of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as all force multipliers who maintained peace and order throughout the entire campaign period until the actual election day.
“You (soldiers and police officers) have shown remarkable professionalism and dedication in performing your sworn duties. Your courage and heroism have helped the entire nation in hurdling the many challenges brought by the past elections,” he said.
In a related development, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), the public school teachers’ association umbrella group, said it would wait for the Comelec and the DepEd to fulfill the timely issuance of the poll duty honoraria of mentors who served in the May 9 elections.
TDC national chairman Benjo Basas said the May 24 timeline for the DepEd and Comelec to release the issuance of the honoraria was reasonable enough for teachers to wait.
Basas added that Comelec and the DepEd had already given the TDC assurance on the timely issuance of the honoraria in dialogues they had with officials.
The coalition is also banking on the announced plan to issue additional compensation to teachers who rendered extra hours on duty as a result of the technical difficulties suffered in the line of duty last May 9, where a number of vote counting machines and secure digital cards encountered some glitches. – Rainier Allan Ronda