HONORARIA, PROTECTION OF TEACHERS IN BSKE
RIZA G. MASANGCAY
The Department of Education, Commission on Elections recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) geared towards the protection and welfare of teachers who will serve as members of the electoral board in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023. The MOA states that teachers who will perform duties in the upcoming BSKE will get increased honoraria on time, and avail of free legal assistance. Based on the agreement, teachers who will serve as electoral chairperson and board member will receive Php 10,000 and Php 9,000 respectively, from the previous Php 6,000 and Php 5,000. Apart from the honoraria, the COMELEC has allocated Php 500,000 worth of death benefits, and Php 200,000 cash assistance in cases of accidents, injuries for each teacher. For precincts with early voting hours, there will be an additional Php 2,000 compensation throughout the board. Teachers who will face election offenses and administrative charges can avail of their free legal assistance, including counsel with no appearance fees. According to the Comelec, legal assistance is the best defense against these kinds of attacks as teachers are so vulnerable. In a statement, the PAO said that the measure is an exceptional instrument towards a peaceful election. Meanwhile, Vice President and Secretary Duterte sighted the threatening incidents teachers face during elections, underscoring the importance of teachers and vowed to protect and support them in the upcoming BSKE.
-oOoThe author is a Secondary School Teacher III at Rafael L. Lazatin Memorial High School