Comelec: Teachers to get ₱4,000 raise in honoraria for 2023 barangay, SK polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 23)— Teachers who will assist in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will get a ₱4,000 increase in their honoraria, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday.

Comelec said poll workers are set to receive the following, subject to withholding tax:

₱10,000 (from ₱6,000) — Chairpersons

₱9,000 (from ₱5,000) — Electoral board members

₱8,000 (from ₱4,000) — Support personnel

The poll body said it is also pushing for an additional ₱2,000 across-the-board pay for those who would be rendering overtime service.

Asked if there are enough funds to cover the raise, Comelec said it has huge savings from its ₱8.4 billion budget for the barangay and SK elections.

“Pinili talaga namin ‘yung pinakamurang gamit sa procurement, kaya malaki ang natipid,” Comelec chairman George Garcia said.

“Kaya nating masustentuhan ‘yun. May mga isa-sacrifice lang kami na operational cost,” he added.

[Translation: We procured the cheapest equipment, so we were able to save a lot. We can sustain that. We just have to sacrifice a portion of our operational costs.]

Garcia said they are still studying whether they could release the honoraria of teachers in advance, following an appeal from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

He noted an incident in 2004 when electoral board members received advance payment but failed to report. Garcia added that they still need to get approval from the Commission on Audit.

Meanwhile, Comelec gave assurance the rescheduling of the filing of certificates of candidacy will not affect processes in the barangay and SK polls.

It said the filing period was adjusted “to the best interest of everyone” as it will allow for more preparations and decrease the possibility of election-related violence.

The poll body pushed back the filing of COCs to Aug. 28 to Sep. 2 from July 3 to 7 after Sen. Francis Tolentino said the schedule may “burden” local government units.