Comelec urged to be sensitive to teachers' demands

RATHER than blame the teachers for the deferment of the recent local elections in several barangays, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should be sensitive to the needs of those serving in ensuring an honest conduct of polls, a teachers' group said Monday.

Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the Teachers' Dignity Coalition, said this following a report that Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is blaming teachers' groups for the refusal of teachers to serve in the barangay polls as board of election tellers (BETs).

A newspaper report said polls were cancelled in about 97 barangays after the designated BETs opted not to report for duty.

"We urge Chair Brillantes to be more sensitive and considerate. And we blame the Comelec and the entire government for failure to ensure the protection of teachers serving the elections, for not giving us due and reasonable compensation, thus forcing some of us to refuse the assignment," Basas said in a text message.

BETs have demanded an increase in their honorarium of P2,000 and transportation allowance of P500.

ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said teachers are simply sending the message that their service must not be taken for granted.

"The Comelec should take this as an opportunity to review its treatment of teachers as personnel during elections, with particular regard to compensation and protection," Tinio said.

"Higher honoraria, prompt payment, better security, legal protection and assistance are the key demands that teachers have been articulating, and which should be adequately addressed by Comelec in the next election," he added. (Sunnex)
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