ACT presses Comelec to pay delayed additional honorarium for poll workers

By Billy Begas

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines has called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately pay poll workers who were promised an additional P2,000 for rendering extended services during the May 9 elections.

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said his group has already sent a letter to Comelec but the agency has yet to make a response.

Basilio said it has been six weeks after the elections and almost a month since the supposed May 25 release of P2,000 additional honorarium “but up till now, teachers have not received any.”

Workers in more than 2,000 voting precincts in the country were forced to extend work due to various reasons mostly due to malfunctions of automated counting machines.

Meanwhile, ACT lauded Comelec for seeking the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) opinion on the deferment of election service tax collection after Congress passed a measure making election service compensation tax-free.

“We call on the BIR not to collect the taxes withheld by the Comelec so that these can be returned by the Commission to the poll workers when the legislation lapses into law by July 1,” Basilio added.

He also urged outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not to block the enactment of the measure.

“Kung ayaw nilang pirmahan, huwag nila itong i-veto dahil tiyak na aanihin nila ang galit ng mga guro at iba pang election workers. Produkto ito ng tatlong taon naming paglaban at karapat-dapat lamang na maibsan na ang pasanin ng poll workers sa buwis,” Basilio pointed out.

Basilio also called for smooth reimbursement of the deducted taxes to teachers.

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