PCOS glitches highlight importance of teachers in polls Solon asks COMELEC to increase their pay

News Release

February 3, 2013

Reference: ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio



ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio called on the Commission on Elections to increase the honoraria for election day service of teachers who will serve as election workers in the 2013 polls.


“The nationwide mock-election conducted on Saturday exposed numerous glitches in the automated system to be deployed by COMELEC,” said Tinio. “While Chairman Sixto Brillantes claims these are minor and will be ironed out by Election Day, experience in the previous automated election shows that such glitches are inevitable. When all is said and done, the success of elections always depends on the teachers who operate the machines and take the appropriate steps when problems arise.”


Observers reported a number of problems during the mock elections, which made use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines provided by Venezuelan firm Smartmatic. These included machines that failed to start, machines that rejected the ballots, failure to wirelessly transmit results, as well as conflicts in the voters’ list.


Tinio noted that there will be around 228,000 public school teachers who will be deployed on the Boards of Election Inspectors in over 79,000 clustered voting precincts nationwide. The teachers will serve the country’s 48 million registered voters.


The party-list representative added that the honorarium of P4,000 for election day service to be paid to teachers has not been increased since it was set in 2004, and called for an increase of at least P2,000. “The mock polls proved once again that, despite poll automation, elections will not be possible without the teachers that make them work. They deserve proper compensation. We urge COMELEC to increase the honorarium to at least P6,000.”


According to Tinio, the proposed increase would require an additional P456 million. He pointed out that the COMELEC had more than enough funds to cover the increase, noting that the Department of Budget and Management released an additional P4.14 billion to the COMELEC last month. The augmentation was sourced from previous years’ savings and is intended for activities related to the 2013 polls. “The compensation hike can very well be sourced from this additional release.”


“Our society requires teachers to make huge sacrifices during elections. The least our government can do is to reward them adequately,” said Tinio. #