MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared that there would be no increase in teachers’ honoraria for the October Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) since the requested extra 10-billion budget did not pass.
“Dahil nga po sa kakulangan ng budget ay minarapat po natin na i-fix na lang po ang kanilang matatanggap sa ₱6,000 sa electoral board chairman, ₱5,000 sa mga members po, at ‘yong ibangprecinct workers ₱4,000.”Comelec Chairperson George Garcia
(Because of the tight budget, we have fixed their honoraria at ₱6,000 for the electoral board chairman, ₱5,000 for the members, and ₱4,000 for other precinct workers.)
Congress only authorized an additional 2.7 billion for the BSKE, on top of the 8.441 billion obtained by the poll commission last year for the postponed BSKE scheduled for last December.
Garcia further stated that if the number of new voters reaches 1.5 million, the budget would be readjusted to include expenditures for extra precincts and ballots. The Comelec chairman also stated that the poll commission is looking for measures to assist teachers since voting would be done manually.
“As far as the ₱8.441 billion, ‘yun po ay sapat lamang para doon sa original honoraria ng ating mga guro…Subalit, alam niyo naman po kapag tayo ay nagkakaroon ng budget hearing, ito po ay isasalang sa budget deliberation ng ating Kongreso at ng ating Senado. Di po natin alam baka po sakaling sila naman ay magbigay ng karagdang matatangap ng ating mga kababayang electoral board members,” he explained.
(The ₱8.441 billion is only enough for the original honoraria of our teachers…But then again, we know that if there will be a budget hearing, the proposed pay hike will be included in the deliberation of the House of Representatives and Senate. We don’t know, maybe they might allot additional pay for electoral board members.)
Furthermore, there will be no tax exemption for poll workers’ honoraria since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. opposed the planned proposal in July 2022, stating that it “goes opposite” to the government’s tax agenda.