The hard work and invaluable contribution of public school teachers should be properly recognized as they are essential to the success of the 2019 elections, according to Sen. Bam Aquino.
"Dapat bigyang halaga ang pagsisikap at paghihirap ng mga teacher sa halalan. Sa totoo lang po, sila ang tunay na bayani ng darating na eleksyon," said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam issued the statement after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned that teachers who will serve in the 2019 elections won't receive their honoraria in case of a re-enacted budget in 2019.
Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the Committee on Finance and member of the Senate bicameral conference committee on the proposed 2019 budget, said Congress is determined to pass the General Appropriations Act next week.
In case of a re-enacted budget in 2019, Sen. Bam said Congress can pass a supplemental budget for the payment of the teachers' honorarium.
"Gagawin natin ang lahat para masigurong mababayaran ang ating mga guro sa kanilang trabaho sa darating na halalan. Biyan natin sila ng karampatang pagkilala at huwag ibitin ang mga kompensasyon at benepisyong itinakda ng batas para sa kanila," said Sen. Bam.
"Sayang naman ang batas na ating isinulong kung hindi mapakikinabangan ng mga guro," Sen. Bam added, referring to Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act (ESRA) that he pushed as principal author in the 16th Congress.
The law increases the honorarium and other election service benefits and makes election service optional for public school teachers. It also increases honoraria for board of election inspector (BEI) and their support staff.
Under the law, compensation for BEI chairman will be increased to P6,000 from P3,000 while BEI members will receive P5,000 from P3,000.
From P3,000, DepEd supervisor/official will earn P4,000 while support staff will receive P2,000 from P1,500.
The teachers and all persons who rendered election service would also be entitled to a travel allowance of P1,000 each.
All government officials and employees serving as members of the electoral boards, DepEd supervisor/official and support staff will be given five days of service credit.
The ESRA also increases the death benefits from P200,000 to P500,000 and the medical assistance in such amount as may be "sufficient to cover for medical and hospitalization expenses until recovery" of injuries sustained while in the performance of election duties.
Source: Senate of the Philippines