Comelec: Only P2,000 per teacher released-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
ON THE heels of the "satisfactory" conduct of the barangay elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) admitted that it can only pay each public school teacher that served as member of Board of Election Tellers (BETs) with P2,000.
Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca said the amount of honoraria that the commission has released will be P500 short of the P2,500 they earlier set.
"What was released from our Finance Department sourced from Comelec money was only P2,000 (per teacher)," said Padaca.
She explained that the reason behind the shortage in the BET payments is Comelec's continued insufficiency in budget.
"The P500-budget for transportation was supposed to be sourced from the money from the local government units (LGUs)," said Padaca.
Earlier, the commission en banc had set the teachers' honoraria at P2,000 for their election duties and an additional P500 for transportation.
With such an allocation for the BET honoraria, the poll body had said it is in need of P3.4 billion but that the General Appropriations Act of 2013 only allocated P1.1 billion for it.
This leaves the Comelec to scour for an additional amount of P2.3 billion, prompting it to ask each of the over 42,000 barangay to contribute P10,000 each for the augmentation of the Comelec budget for the holding of the Barangay polls.
Several barangays, however, refused to give their contributions. The poll body was only able to collect less than 50 percent before Election Day.
"That is why we have been asking them (LGUs) to contribute so we can provide transportation allowance to the teachers," Padaca stressed.
For his part, Comelec Chairperson Sixto Brillantes reiterated his warning to the barangay officials who refused to give their contributions.
He said they better have a good excuse for failing to send their P10,000 or face possible election offense cases.
"To those that said they don’t want to contribute, we are giving you a little warning: that is considered an election offense under the law," he said.
Section 50 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) provides that "local governments shall appropriate funds to defray such necessary and reasonable expenses of the members of the board of election tellers (BETs), board of canvassers (BOC), the printing of election forms, the procurement of other election paraphernalia, and the installation of polling booths."
An election offense carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office. (HDT/Sunnex)