P2.56 B Sought for Teachers' Compensation in Oct. 29 Elections

Manila Bulletin, October 25, 2007 | Go to article overview

P2.56 B Sought for Teachers' Compensation in Oct. 29 Elections


Byline: SHIANEE MAMANGLU

Education and election officials yesterday signed an agreement to collaborate on efforts for the conduct of a smooth barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections next week.

The MoA signing held at DepEd Bulwagan also seeks to pressure the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to provide the additional funds of R2.56 billion for teachers' compensation.

"Our topmost priority at the DepEd is the safety and well-being of our teachers," said Undersecretary Franklin Sunga.

"Since our teachers are well prepared to perform their task professionally, we also hope they will be compensated well for the services they are going to render in next week's polls."

Under DepEd provisions, teachers are expected to receive the same package of pay, allowances, benefits, and protection as in the May 14 national elections.

This means, teachers' compensation should be R3,000 and their allowance up by R500, an increase of R200 from last May elections.

But under actual Comelec budget of R2.1 billion, public school teachers who will serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) will be provided only R1,000 compensation.

"There is no provision for teacher allowance. BEI din lang ang merong provision for compensation," said Sunga.

Sunga also attributed DepEd's delay in formulating the provision to Comelec's late issuance of the general instructions last Sept. 13.

"It was only released to us a week after. Kaya the moment we learned about it, inaraw-araw na namin sila (Comelec)," he said.

Meanwhile, Commission on Elections (Comelec) acting Chairman Resurrecion Borra assured to help DepEd lobby their requests to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

"These requests are legitimate. If these are not granted by the DBM, we will press the DBM to provide the funds... kawawa ang ating mga guro kung di sila mabibigyan ng allowance," Borra said.

Borra added he will instruct the treasurer to allocate funds from the actual budget for teachers' allowance. "We will leave to the discretion of the treasurer kung sinong teachers ang bibigyan. Baka naman pwede don sa mga malalapit lang, di na muna sila bigyan ng allowance."

Meanwhile, Domingo Alidon of the DepEd Union said Comelec has not done enough to ensure the welfare of public school teachers who will serve in the polls.

"It is not a reason na kaunti lang ang budget. Dapat inadvance na nila yan nuon pa. They should have allocated a higher budget and double the benefits of teachers," he said.

"If governors were paid R500,000 why not give the teachers a higher pay. They don't deserve to just receive R1,000. Their lives are put at risk here," he added.

At least 470,000 public school teachers are expected to serve in the polls. Comelec said they expect 51 million youth voters to flock to 310,000 precincts nationwide on Oct. 29.

PNP: Low occurrence of election-related incidents this year

By RIO ROSE RIBAYA

The Philippine National Police yesterday reported a low occurrence of election-related violent incidents this year compared to the previous barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

In its report, the PNP recorded only 13 incidents of violence related to the upcoming elections from Sept. 29 up to the present, noting significant difference from the 159 reported incidents of shooting, harassment, abductions and attacks in 2002.

The police, however, reported 150 cases of gun ban violations with 136 figures coming from civilians. The report noted that only five violators came from the police, one from the military, and one a local official.

Out of the 150 recorded gun ban violations, the PNP said only 44 cases have been filed and pending in courts.

In the same report, the PNP said a total of 143 firearms, five explosives, and 15 deadly weapons were confiscated. …

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