Senate President Vicente Sotto has filed a bill seeking to upgrade the salary of Commission on Elections (Comelec) employees and reorganize the poll body's offices.
Senate Bill No. 2082, filed on October 23, aims to address the disparity in the salary grades of Comelec employees with those in other government agencies despite having similar qualifications or equivalent positions.
"It is about time that Congress responds to their call for adequate adjustments in their remuneration,” Sotto said in the explanatory note of his bill titled “An Act Reorganizing the Comelec Offices.”
Sotto said the Comelec Employees’ Union has been continuously asserting their right to substantial and just salary increases for decades.
"Equal pay for equal work in government service is the ultimate goal of the proposed legislation," Sotto said. "It can only be realized through reclassification and upgrading of their current plantilla positions, particularly in the Comelec main and field offices."
Sotto said an increase in the salary of Comelec employees "will be an effective deterrent to graft and corrupt practices."
The bill also seeks to institute regional and provincial offices and divide the National Capital Region (NCR) into five administrative districts.
"The Comelec may delegate its powers and functions or order the implementation or enforcement of its orders, rulings or decisions through the heads of its field offices," Sotto said.
He further said all of the remaining rank and file plantilla positions in the Comelec's main and field offices shall be reclassified and upgraded accordingly.
The bill is expected to benefit 5,000 Comelec employees nationwide.
A counterpart measure has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Reps. Gary Alejano, Francisco Datol and Feliciano Belmonte Jr. —Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMA News