Over 60,000 BEIs, staff yet to receive honoraria

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) admitted that only 66,000 or 14 percent of the more than 476,000 election workers, including public school teachers and support staff that served in the May 9 polls, have not been paid of their honoraria.

In a press briefing, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista cited three possible reasons why some of the election workers have not received their payments yet: (1) cards have not been distributed by the field officials to poll workers; (2) it has been distributed to the poll workers but the latter have not transacted with the banks yet; (3) and there was an unsuccessful transaction with the Landbank of the Philippines ATM or ebanking system.

"When I asked the reason why it has not been paid these are the three potential reasons...by the way all the money have already been uploaded to the Landbank debit card...now the question is these debit cards have been distributed to the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) concern and that is being done by our field officials specifically our election officers. As you know sometimes the distance is far away it takes a bit of time before the distribution is made," he said.

The poll body chief added, "Number two, there's also the possibility that the BEI has already received the debit card but has not yet enchased it with the bank. Again, mainly because of geographical issues. Also there have been instances wherein there was a problem with the debit card and we have been coordinating with the Landbank to make sure that these problems are dealt with properly."

With this, Bautista said that they established a hotline that will help those who have questions regarding their payment.

"So in order to assist in that respect we have a hotline that we have established...in fact this hotline has been there for the past few days...several numbers that our teachers can contact. There's also the email address of head of our Finance Services Department so that if they have concerns they may immediately call these hotlines or email," he added.

The budget for the payment of election workers is at P1.745 billion.

"As of this morning, we already have paid close to P1.5 billion when we say paid it means that this money have already been received by the teachers concerned. The only remaining amount is about P245 million, which constitutes 14 percent, so, 86 percent has been paid 14 percent remains to be unpaid," Bautista explained.

The poll body chief noted that they expect to pay all the teachers next week.

"Well 'yun na nga kaya nga para mapabilis ang proseso nagbigay tayo hotline at email address para kung meron sila specific concerns pwede nila tawagan agad and hopefully by next week dapat matapos na ito," he added.

On Thursday, the Alliance for Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Philippines revealed that many teachers and support staff have not received their payment for their work last May 9.

The election workers main duty was to manage the more than 92,000 polling centers nationwide on Election Day.

The group noted that those that have not received their payments are from 31 areas, including the provinces of Antique, Dinagat Islands, Negros Oriental, and Pangasinan, as well as cities of Taguig, Naga, Tagum, and Pasay. (FP/Sunnex)
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