Comelec’s Garcia pitches additional pay for teachers, BEI members forced by defective VCMs to extend poll duty

TEACHERS and other members of the electoral boards who were forced to extend their election duties due to defective vote counting machines (VCM) and secure digital (SD) cards may get additional honoraria from the Commission on Elections.

In his Memorandum No. 22-115, Comelec Commissioner George M. Garcia urged other members of the Comelec en banc to extend the additional compensation to poll workers in 1,867 polling precincts, which suffered the said issues.  

This will be on top of the regular honoraria provided by Comelec Resolution No. 10727, which range from P3,000 to P7,000 to election workers. 

“The said technical difficulties and problems with SD cards and VCMs have forced thousands of teachers to render poll service twice, thrice or more than their duty hours,” Garcia said. 

“In recognition of their invaluable service to ensure the successful conduct of the elections, the undersigned respectfully recommends the grant of additional honorarium to members of the EB (electoral boards), DESO (Department of Education Supervisor Official), and DESO Technical Support Staff, who were assigned to polling precincts that encountered malfunctioning VCMs and SD cards,” he added. 

Garcia issued the memorandum on Friday. 

Acting Comelec spokesperson John Rex C. Laudiangco said the Comelec en banc will have to issue a resolution on the recommendation of Garcia before it can take effect. 

“As of last night (May 12), Commissioner George Erwin Garcia had made a positive move for its grant to the Commission en banc, which the Commission en banc had warmly received,” Laudiangco said in a press conference. 

He also stressed the additional compensation will not be considered overtime pay, but only as an additional honoraria, which will still be covered by tax.  

The Comelec Finance Service Department will consider the amount and the total budget to be allocated for the said compensation once it is approved by the Comelec en banc, according to Laudiangco.