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    Comelec: Asking budget to pay teachers’ honoraria for Election 2019 duty “not easy”

    MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) admitted that asking for budget to pay the teachers who will serve as election officers in the upcoming polls is not easy.

    During a press briefing, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez confirmed that they are having difficulty finding the funding for the teachers’ honoraria as the 2019 national budget is still not ratified as of today.

    Asking budget to pay teachers’ honoraria for Election 2019 duty “not easy”
    Comelec admits it’s not easy to find the funding to pay teachers if the 2019 budget is not approved soon | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Comelec

    Jimenez shares that they are working with the members of Congress to solve the dilemma. They are even considering using the President's contingency fund.

    He said, “They floated some solutions. We are going to look into those solutions. There is also the proposed use of the contingency fund.”

    The spokesperson explained that the use of the President's contingency fund will also need some time. Jimenez said, “We are studying that process, but it is not as simple as calling someone, asking them, ‘Pengeng pera’. This process will take some time.”

    Jimenez already expressed his concern on the possibility that teachers who will serve on the upcoming May polls may not be paid if the 2019 budget will not be ratified. He dismissed the suggestion of some lawmakers that they should work based on a reenacted budget. Jimenez said that the 2018 Comelec’s budget isn't enough for the training of personnel for the elections and procurement of needed items.

    “If [the budget is] reenacted, we won’t have any money to pay the teachers…. Election service is not simple. It is not easy and the teachers deserve to be recompensed for it,” Jimenez earlier said.

    Jimenez added that they are not losing their hopes as they continue to urge the Congress to approve the national budget. He said, “We are not giving up on our call ... This budget is very important because we have to give the teachers what is due them, and that would be achieved in … the regular course of things, which is having a new budget.”

    Since the Congress still failed to ratify the 2019 national budget, the government is currently operating under the 2018 budget worth P3.767 trillion.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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