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Comelec retains P4,500 pay for teachers serving in May 2016 polls

Despite appeals for a raise, the honorarium for public school teachers serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in the May 2016 elections will remain at P4,500, the same amount they received in the 2013 midterm polls.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10031, all BEI chairpersons and members shall receive a per diem at the rate of P1,000 a day for three days or a total per diem of P3,000.

Each teacher will also get an additional P500 for taking part in the verification and sealing of the Book of Voters; for the final testing and sealing of the vote counting machines; and as transportation allowance.

During elections, members of the BEI are mandated to conduct the voting process and count the votes in their respective polling places. They are also required to act as deputies of the Comelec in supervising the conduct of elections in their precinct jurisdiction.

Earlier, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they are studying the possibility of providing teachers an additional pay despite having limited budget from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza also pushed to increase the teachers’ pay during the elections to P8,000 in recognition of their efforts during election day.

Meanwhile, city and municipal election officers (EOs) will start forming members of the BEI for each clustered polling precinct on Monday.

The EOs will have until January 15, to identify the teachers who will serve as BEIs using the list of public school teachers sourced from the Department of Education (DepEd).

Under the law, there shall be one BEI for every clustered precinct. The board shall be composed of a chairperson, a poll clerk, and a third member.

Qualifications to become BEI members include having good moral character, being a registered voter of the city/municipality, absence of a conviction for any election offense or other crimes punishable by more than six months of imprisonment, has no pending election offense case, and is able to speak and write English or the local dialect.

According to a Comelec resolution dated Dec. 22, 2015, preference will be given to those with permanent appointments, those who served in the May 2013 elections, and those with specialized training in dealing with persons with disability.

Persons related up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any candidate or candidate's spouse in a particular precinct are barred from serving in the BEI of that area. — Xianne Arcangel/BM, GMA News