By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — A hypothetical extra day of voting in the May 2022 presidential elections will cost at least P2 billion, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Friday.
Recto said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) plan to put up 110,000 clustered precincts in the 2022 polls, an increase from 85,768 in the 2019 national elections, will cost about P2.1 billion in additional honorarium for teachers alone.
The senator explained that in the last elections, the board of elections inspector (BEI) chairperson was paid an honorarium of P6,000 while the poll clerk and the third member of the board were given P5,000 each. The three members of the board are also given P1,000 each for travel allowance.
This totals to P19,000 per precinct said Recto.
“If you have to roll over the P19,000 per precinct and multiply this by 110,000, aabot ng mga P2.1 billion,” Recto said in a statement.
“If the second-day rate will be 50 percent of the first-day rate, P1 billion pa rin ang idadagdag,” he added.
But Recto pointed out that teachers in the BEIs only account for half of the personnel that the Department of Education (DepEd) deploys during elections.
“Yung teachers sa BEI in 2019 mga 258,000 lang. Pero ang total deployment ng DepEd ay about 531,000,” Recto said.
“Ito ang binayaran ng Comelec for their support and supervisory work, which ranged from P2,000 to P4,000,” he added.
Aside from the teachers, there are also the police officers deployed to secure each clustered precincts.
Recto, however, stressed that these scenarios are all in the “realm of speculation, for discussion purposes only.”
“Just the same, let us be prepared. Let us also plan in advance, make studies on how, for example, mail voting can be exercised by the disabled, elderly, and the sick. Hindi para sa susunod na election pero baka two or three cycles in the future,” Recto said.
Nonetheless, Recto’s estimates doubled the calculation of Comelec, which earlier said that at least P1 billion will be needed if the 2022 elections will be conducted over two days.