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Smartmatic should shoulder extra pay of teachers

3 May 2010 No Comment

May 26, 2010


The ACT TEACHERS Partylist described as “inadequate” yesterday’s announcement by the Commission on Elections that teachers who served in the May 10 elections would be given an additional honorarium of Php 500.

“An additional Php 500 is simply not enough,” said ACT TEACHERS Partylist national president and first nominee Antonio Tinio. “We reiterate our call for an additional Php 2,000.”

Teachers who served on the Boards of Election Inspectors were to be paid Php 4,300 for their service, consisting of the following: Php 3,000 as election day honorarium, Php 500 honorarium for sealing the book of voters, Php 500 for testing and sealing the PCOS machines, and Php 300 as transportation allowance. The additional Php 500 announced by COMELEC will raise the total payment to Php 4,800.

Tinio disputed the claim made by COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal that the total compensation package of Php 4,800 for teachers is “the highest in history.” “In the 2004 and 2007 elections, teachers received Php 3,300 as compensation. That’s Php 3,000 for election day service and Php 300 as transportation allowance. Teachers are being paid the same amount in 2010 as they were six years ago. The compensation is only higher this year because COMELEC has given teachers additional tasks, namely the testing and sealing of PCOS machines and the sealing of the book of voters, requiring extra days of work.”

Tinio explained that their demand for an additional Php 2,000 was fair considering that the teachers rendered extra days of service due to additional testing and sealing of the PCOS machines, extension of voting hours by one hour on election day, and the huge workload brought about by precinct clustering.

He further clarified that the additional Php 500 offered by COMELEC should not be seen as a bonus, but as fair compensation for the second round of testing and sealing of PCOS machines performed by teachers as a result of Smartmatic’s erroneous configuration of compact flash cards.

Tinio concluded by suggesting that COMELEC require Smartmatic to shoulder the compensation of teachers who had to perform an additional round of testing and sealing of PCOS machines. “Smartmatic admitted that they made a mistake with the configuration of the CF cards. In the same way that they shouldered the logistical cost of recalling, reconfiguring, and redistributing the CF cards, they should likewise shoulder the cost of the extra working hours that teachers had to put in to retest and reseal the machines. Smartmatic should pay them Php 500. It should not come from the Filipino taxpayers.”

Smartmatic is the Venezuelan firm contracted by COMELEC to implement the technological requirements of poll automation. #



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