Election inspectors in Eastern Visayas still waiting for honoraria

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By Reyan L. Arinto, VERA Files

Tacloban City — It’s a month after the elections and winners have been proclaimed, but some teachers who served as poll inspectors in Eastern Visayas have yet to receive their honoraria.

One teacher in Tacloban City said they have completed the documentation needed but they are still waiting. “Now that we’re done with filling up the forms, there is again a delay in the release of our honoraria,” the teacher said.

“We are still waiting despite the assurance of the Comelec that it will be released immediately. Some of our fellow teachers worked beyond voting hours, some were even harassed and are facing charges and yet Comelec has not yet given what is due to us,” said the teacher.

Public school teachers who were part of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) were supposed to receive honoraria of P4,000 after the elections.

Atty. Veronico Petalcorin, officer-in-charge at the Commission on Elections regional office, said cash cards issued by Land Bank of the Philippines and the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) were distributed to most teachers who served during the elections.

“We are very sorry to those who have not yet received their honoraria. If it was coursed through the regional, provincial or municipal Comelec office, then there could have been no problem such as this,” he said, referring to the delay in the release.

“The problem is with the (Comelec) central office. There were records that do not match with those BEI who served during the elections. Other teachers who do not have Land Bank ATM payroll accounts also have problems in getting their honoraria through special cash cards,” Petalcorin added.

In some cases, he said, some teachers who were on the list but did not serve in the elections received the amount which was not intended for them.

“This would take time to settle, but we assure those who served that they will receive their honoraria. Those who did not serve but received the money will have to refund it,” the official said.

Comelec paid election inspectors P3,000 as honorarium, P500 for the final testing and sealing of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine and P500 as transportation allowance.

“We would recommend to the central office that in the next elections, the honoraria should be released to the BEIs through payroll from our election officers,” Petalcorin said.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true”.)

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