Comelec yet to decide on additional honoraria for poll workers’ extended duty hours

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday acknowledged the call for additional payment for teachers who rendered overtime service as poll workers, but said it has yet to decide on the matter.

A teachers’ group earlier demanded that the commission compensate those who had to extend their poll duty hours due to voting delays caused by some malfunctioning vote-counting machines.

Comelec acting spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said this is possible, but that the poll body must first approve and promulgate a resolution to this effect.

“Apologies po, but I have to stress that the Commission has yet to decide on this,” he clarified in a statement, hours after saying in a media briefing that the extra pay will be given.

Should the Comelec decide to heed the teachers’ call, Laudiangco noted this would not be the first time. He said extra compensation – which he clarified is technically considered additional honoraria and not “overtime pay" – was given to poll workers in 2019 who served beyond scheduled working hours.

“I am now looking po for the similar resolution for the consideration of the Commission en banc,” he said. “But definitely, the Commission, under DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Rules, as well as other accounting and auditing rules, is not allowed to grant overtime pay.”

Meanwhile, Laudiangco during the briefing vowed that the teachers' honoraria – which covers their normal working hours – will be given not more than 15 days from election day. He noted this is the timeframe allowed by law.

“Absolute po ‘yan. Wala pong excuses, at gagawin namin ‘yan,” he said.

[Translation: That’s absolute. There will be no excuses, and we will do that.]