More election support staff were unpaid

(Photo courtesy of Bacolod PIO)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – More election support staff who rendered services in the recently concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) complained that they were not paid.

Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental told capitol reporters Thursday that some Commission on Elections (Comelec) support staff in the town are still unpaid after rendering poll duties.

“If we can do anything on our side, we are ready, for as long as there is a legal basis,” Tongson said.

But he said he doesn’t know how many election support staff are affected.

Himamaylan City is the second LGU where some election support staff complained they were not paid for their rendered election duties.

Earlier, Kabankalan City Mayor Benjie Miranda said Comelec owes about P3.7 million to 660 support staff in their city.

Miranda has also mentioned that there are also unpaid election support staff in three other LGUs aside from Kabankalan City which he declined to identify.

On the other hand Comelec spokesman Atty. John Rex Laudiangco said the Comelec has taken the proactive step of paying the honoraria of all 660 BSKE 2023 support staff in Kabankalan City.

Laudiangco said each support staff is entitled to receive P5,500 as honorarium for the election services rendered.

While Comelec is committed to paying the 660 support staff in Kabankalan City, he pointed out that an investigation was underway to determine the administrative or criminal liability of the Comelec field officers involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, Comelec regional director Atty. Dennis Ausan of Western Visayas told capitol reporters in a phone interview that they have already submitted their investigation reports on the unpaid Comelec support staff in the cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan to the Comelec central office.

While he declined to elaborate on the Himamaylan case, particularly on how many are affected, he said it is now in the hands of the Comelec central office on how the issues and concerns will be addressed.