CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Elections-Cebu has assured all 12,000 Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), including those in Cebu City, that they would be paid of their honoraria right after the May 9 elections through cash cards.
Lawyer Eliseo Labaria, acting Comelec-Cebu provincial election supervisor, clarified this after Comelec-Cebu City reported a possible delay in the distribution of the BEI's honoraria. He said what was referred to was the counterpart amount from the city government, not the honoraria from Comelec.
He said the poll body has allotted sufficient budget for the BEIs, who each would get from Comelec P6,500 in honorarium.
The BEIs carry important roles during elections. They are responsible for the conduct of voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places, and act as deputies of Comelec in the supervision and control of the elections in polling place where they are assigned.
In the elections this Monday, at least three teachers are assigned per clustered precincts. Comelec records show that there are 4,066 clustered precincts and 1,182 voting centers in Cebu.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10031, the chairperson and members of the BEIs shall each receive a total of P4,500 as three-day per diem; transportation allowance; and for doing the verification and sealing of the Book of Voters, and final testing and sealing of vote counting machines. Comelec recently decided to add P2,000 more.
Labaria said the payment is through Land Bank of the Philippines prepaid cards, which are now at the Comelec-Cebu office. The BEIs applied for the opening of the said cards.
Labaria said the cards, which are seen to prevent delay in the release and even of missing cash, would be distributed after the BEIs return all election paraphernalia to his office.
In the past elections, allowances for the teachers rendering poll duties were given in cash distributed by election officers.
Around 300,000 public school teachers would administer the elections in more than 95,000 clustered polling precincts nationwide.
With over 2.7 million registered voters, Cebu has the biggest number of voters among all provinces in the country. The figure is eight percent higher than the 2.5 million registrants during the 2013 elections.
In Central Visayas, it is followed by Bohol with 798,768; Negros Oriental with 785,712; and Siquijior with 68,998.
Meanwhile, the Comelec has already started distributing the vote-counting machines (VCMs) to the different polling places in Cebu, particularly those in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes.
Today, it would distribute VCMs to the rest of the province. Every polling precinct needs one VCM.
Labaria said extra VCMs were also on standby in the event that a particular machine bogs down.
The 50 contingency VCMs, he said, were prepositioned in "accessible" areas to avoid delays.
"Gi-preposition ni nato tanan ang contingency units sa lugar nga dali ra ma-access aron madali mapulihan kun naay madaot. Kay ang experience nato sa una sa Camotes naay naguba human ang contingency unit naa sa Cebu so nalangan 'nuon," he said.
Labaria said the extra units will surely be distributed in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes and other far-flung areas.
Also, Labaria urged voters to report incidences of vote buying with proofs like photos and affidavits.
"Dapat naa gyod tay ika-present nga evidence aron mo-prosper ang kaso. Of course ang ni-testigo atong hatagan og immunity batok sa politikong naghatag," he said. — (FREEMAN)
by: By Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman), Source: PHILSTAR
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