DepEd commends teachers on poll duties; reports orderly, peaceful local elections
“I salute and thank our teacher-volunteers who once again went the extra mile in ensuring a successful and just conduct of the recent local elections,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
“The local elections had been generally peaceful insofar as teachers and schools are concerned. In our DepEd Election Task Force (ETF) and Monitoring Center, reports from the ground were mostly COMELEC-related [Commission on Elections] concerns and with no major issues coming from and relating to our teacher-volunteers,” Atty. Marcelo Bragado Jr., DepEd ETF Operations and Legal Support Head, added.
Bragado further explained the process of giving the honoraria and allowances to DepEd personnel volunteers, “Sa pag-uusap po namin sa COMELEC, ang pagbabayad po sa kanila ay sa pamamagitan ng cash cards sa mga lugar na may automated teller machines (ATM). Sa mga lugar naman na wala nito, cash advance po na ang magbibigay ay ang mga election officers.”
He also underscored that per the COMELEC ruling, these honoraria and allowances must be given to all teacher-volunteers not exceeding 15 days after the elections, and delaying the issuance of these is considered an election offense.
“Ayon sa COMELEC, starting 5:01 PM of May 14, and 15 days thereafter, ang bigayan ng honoraria and allowances… We guarantee na magkakaroon talaga ng pagbabayad ng honoraria na on time sa ating mga teachers,” Bragado assured.
Currently, the law provides for the following honoraria amount:
- Chairperson of Electoral Boards – P6,000
- Members of Electoral Boards – P5,000
- DepEd Supervisor Officials (DESO) – P4,000
- Support staff – P2,000
Undersecretary for Administration and ETF Chairman Alain Del B. Pascua mentioned the Department’s direction after this year’s local elections: “The first order of business right after elections is to ask Congress to enact a law amending the ESRA [Election Service Reform Act] law to make the honoraria and allowances tax-exempt.”
“Para pagdating ng next election ay hindi na natin problema itong pagbibigay ng tax exemption sa mga guro nating nagsisilbi sa halalan. So kahit na hindi sila pasok doon sa Php 250,000 cut-off per annum salary, ay maisasama pa rin sila, na libre na iyan o free na iyan sa tax,” he added.
On behalf of all DepEd officials, Pascua vowed to continue serving and safeguarding the welfare of all DepEd personnel volunteers in both national and local elections.