SOME 270,000 teachers who did work as Board of Election Inspectors in this year’s elections are still to be paid their honorariums totaling P1.21 billion, a lawyer said Thursday.
Gregorio Larrazabal, a former Commision on Elections official, said the inspectors found their “cash cards” empty after the Comelec changed the scheme for paying them “at the last minute.”
“Thousands of BEIs have not yet been paid,” Larrazabal said.
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the complaint being received by his office about the nonpayment of the teachers’ honorariums were coming from all over the country.
The election inspectors were supposed to be paid P4,000 each in honorariums and P500 in transportation allowances for a total of P1.21 billion.
“The complaint about the empty cash cards is widespread across the country,” Tinio told The Standard.
“The teachers are complaining. They say they worked fast but were not paid fast.”
At least 20 teachers belonging to ACT Teachers on Thursday picketed the Philippine International Convention Center where the Comelec is canvassing the votes.
Larrazabal said the existing payment scheme was efficient until the Comelec changed it.
He said there were delays in the payment of election inspectors in the past, but the number of complaints had been insignificant.
“In many municipalities there is no [Landbank] branch, so how can the [election inspector] convert the card into cash?” Larrazabal said.
“Did you know that some [election inspectors] have to pay more than P500 to get a ride from their municipality to another municipality just to cash the card?
“Worse, after spending money to hire a vehicle to go to the bank, many [election inspectors] are told by the bank that there is no money in their cash cards.”
Said Benjie Valbuena, ACT national chairman: “The election is over but our teachers who served as [election inspectors] and support staff remain unpaid. They risked their lives and sacrificed a lot. This delay is dreadful after many of them ended up tired and hungry since no meals were served them and no transportation services were available.”