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Solon marches with teachers to COMELEC, urges higher pay and protection for poll duties

12 February 2013 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE 12 February 2013

Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

INTRAMUROS, MANILA—ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio joined teachers in marching to the main office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to air concerns related to poll duties, including the demand for a P6,000 honorarium for the three-day service as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) members.

The protesters were united by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) from several teachers’ organizations and unions to call for better treatment of teachers deputized by the poll body for election service.

Earlier, Tinio said that the glitches in the PCOS machines highlight the importance of teachers’ poll duties, which COMELEC must fairly compensate. Teachers demand a P2,000-hike for the honorarium which remained at P4,000 since 2004 despite the increase of duties brought by automation and usual risks in guarding the polls. For this, COMELEC can tap its savings of P4.14 billion from past elections, earmarked for operations of the 2013 elections.

The solon also reminded poll chair Sixto Brillantes of his commitments at a dialogue with teachers April last year, such as prompt release of the honorarium, measures to prevent massive disenfranchisement of BEI members, greater protection from harassment and violence, medical and legal assistance, and hazard pay.

On disenfranchisement, Tinio urged COMELEC to have the appropriate bodies such as the Election Registration Board examine the records of teachers who served in BEIs.

“We received reports of teachers with deactivated registration though they have served in BEIs in past elections and voted at the precincts where they were assigned,” Tinio revealed. “We hope that COMELEC issue and really implement a resolution to reactivate as registered voters teachers whose records were erroneously deactivated.”

Days before the 2010 elections, COMELEC issued such a resolution, but, from these reports, it appears that this was not effectively implemented.

“In three months, teachers will again be used by COMELEC in running the elections,” Tinio said. “We hope that, in the midst of its heightened efforts to monitor candidates’ campaign and expenses, COMELEC will not forget the welfare of the teachers it deputized.” ###


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