May election is fast approaching, election seminar has been done in some areas. Department of Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones filed a petition to the Comelec to increase the honoraria and allowance and to be exempted from the withholding tax on such compensation. This petition is to uphold the welfare and protection of those teachers who will serve this coming May 14 for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election.
“DepEd teachers and personnel have long been at the forefront of every electoral exercise in the country; with their immense experience in carrying out this enormous task in clustered precincts of huge populations, we deem that evaluation and discussion on the possible increase in honoraria and allowance are just and necessary,” Briones said.
The ERSA has improved the compensation package of volunteer teachers, or Republic Act No. 10756 Election Service Reform Act (ERSA) which Secretary Briones pointed out that no poll honoraria were ever subjected to income tax.
This Republic Act No. 10756 currently provides higher honoraria, service credits, travel allowance, medical assistance, legal indemnification package, and death benefit for teachers and personnel who will serve for the election.
Secretary Briones also requested Comelec to allow the disbursing officer to withdraw in advance the budget for medical expenses for those who will serve in the Electoral Boards to avoid the common practice of medical reimbursement just in case a teacher may need immediate hospitalization during the election.
Mandated in the ERSA is a five-day service credit, but Secretary Briones appealed for another two days service credits.
This was announced in Davao City, Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua and Assistant Secretary for Procurement Field Operations Revsee Escobedo, during the First Regional Assembly of Educational Leaders with more than 3,000 delegates.