Over 500K DepEd personnel ready for Monday’s polls

MANILA The Department of Education (DepEd) is now ready for the May 13 mid-term elections, an official said Thursday.

"We have already conducted a series of clustered conferences on the DepEd Election Task Force (ETF) in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao," DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said in a press briefing.

Teachers and non-teaching personnel with poll duties would be provided adequate information and technical and legal assistance through the ETF, she added.

Apart from the ETF and training of teachers and non-teaching personnel with poll duties, Sevilla said the DepEd has also started the preparation of 36,830 schools which will be used as poll precincts nationwide.

Citing the provisions of Republic Act 10756 or Election Service Reform Act, Sevilla said the 531,307 officials, teachers, and non-teaching personnel would be provided honoraria, travel allowance and other benefits.

"The chairperson will receive PHP6,000 and PHP1,000 travel allowance; member will receive PHP5,000 and PHP1,000 travel allowance; the supervisor will have PHP4,000 and PHP1,000 travel allowance; staff PHP2,000 and PHP1,000 travel allowance; and technical support staff PHP2,000 and PHP1,000 travel allowance and PHP1,000 as communication allowance," she said.

When asked about teachers' call to stop the taxation on their honoraria, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the law mandates all forms of compensation to be taxed.

"The Constitution says that all compensation has to be taxed. The Comelec (Commission on Elections) has its own guidelines as well. This is all with the Bureau of Internal Revenue Code na kung (that if) below PHP250,000 annual salary, tax-exempt which is for everybody," she said, adding that a law has to be passed to accommodate changes on the tax scheme.

Meanwhile, Sevilla said the DepEd was able to "negotiate with the Comelec" regarding the matter.

"Teachers who will be receiving honoraria and travel allowance, who know that they are not earning PHP250,000 in one year, they have to submit a sworn declaration of such to the election officer who will validate that certification, then the honoraria and allowance will be given in full, she said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency