Teachers press passage of voluntary election service bill
Sunday, June 17, 2012
THE Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is pressing lawmakers to pass House Bill 4096, which pushes for making election service voluntary for public school teachers and other citizens.
ACT Secretary General France Castro said there is a need to pass the bill to remove the burden of serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to public school teachers only.
Section 13 of Republic Act 6646 provides that all BEIs shall be public school teachers that will be compensated by teachers in private schools, employees in the civil service, or other citizens of known probity and competence who are registered voters of the city or municipality may be appointed for election duty.
“Election is the responsibility of all the citizenry that is why we are asking to just make it voluntary for teachers to serve as BEIs,” said Castro.
House Bill 4096 was filed by ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio.
If the bill is not passed, ACT said it is hoping that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would at least give them a higher honorarium for their poll-related duties.
Castro said higher pays are necessary since the work load of teachers serving as BEIs has more than doubled due to the use of the automated election system (AES).
Back in the May 2010 polls, the Comelec had clustered three to five polling precincts in order to maximize the use of the PCOS machines.
“We have a problem with the PCOS since three precincts were clustered into one but instead of nine teachers, we remain three in the BEI. We hope they will increase our honoraria,” said Castro.
In the May 2010 polls, all 240,000 teachers, who had served as BEIs, were paid P3,000 honoraria in exchange for their three-day election services.
Last week, the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the Comelec to re-use the PCOS machines by approving the latter’s exercising the “option to purchase” clause with Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation.(HDT/Sunnex)