MANILA – Andres Bautista, chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), clarified Friday that only about 66,000 members of the board of election inspectors, mostly teachers, not 100,000 as “exaggeratedly reported”, still have to receive their honoraria for serving in the recently concluded national and local polls.
Chairman Bautista was prompted to call a press conference to present the breakdown or distribution of P1.745 billion in funds to some 476,000 public school teachers, in the light of what he insisted was the erroneous figure of 100,000 claimed by the Alliance for Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Philippines.
Bautista clarified that the poll body already paid 410,000 of the teachers who served in the last elections.
“That corresponds to about 86 percent who have been paid, so far. So, 14% still remain to be unpaid,” Bautista said.
For the May 2016 polls, the BEIs are each entitled to receive a per diem of P1,000 a day for three days; P500 each for the verification and sealing of the Book of Voters, the final testing and sealing of the vote counting machines as well as for transportation allowance; and P2,000 for undergoing training, all for a total per diem of P6,500.
According to Bautista, of the P1.745 billion in funds deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines, some P1.5 billion have already been cashed out.
“The remaining amount is only about P245 million, which roughly corresponds to the 14 percent,” the poll chief noted.
Asked about the reasons that these remaining amounts have yet to be drawn down by the teachers, Bautista cited, among, possible geographical challenges in the more inaccessible areas.
“Some of these debit cards have yet to be distributed to the BEIs concerned, but this is being expedited by our field officials, specifically our election officers. Sometimes, the distances are a factor and it can takes a bit of time before the distribution is completed,” he noted.
“There’s also the possibility that the BEI has already received the debit cards but they have not yet cashed these out at the bank. Again, possibly because of geographical issues,” he added.
Still, the Comelec chief said he is confident the payments will be completed by next week.
source: interaksiyon dot com