Payment for 600 Kabankalan poll support staff uncertain

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – After rendering poll duties for the Commission on Election (Comelec) in the recently concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election, some 800 support staff may not be paid at all for their services.

Kabankalan  City mayor Benjie Miranda told reporters on Monday that the local Comelec has sought his help on the matter.

The needed amount for payment of their poll services is P3.7 million, Miranda said.

He pointed out that he cannot just allocate the amount from the city government’s coffers.

“Wala ta guidelines parte dira, indi ta basta basta ka allocate budget para dira kay kuarta na sang katawhan, indi naton basta ma usar basi maposasan kita sina,” Miranda further said.

He said he was informed that the support staff took charge of ensuring that the voting would be orderly at the same attended to questions and concerns of the voters.

Miranda said he told the Comelec that the amount is too big “mayo tani mga P100,000 lang na maamot ko personally sang P20,000 or P25,000.”

He said, though, that he would look into how the city government can help “but I cannot assure anything.”

“Ginserbisyohan na nila,” he stressed.

Miranda clarified that the hiring of these so-called support staff did not pass through the city government.

He said, “The city government has no obligation to pay them because we did not hire them.”

The mayor added that the local Comelec admitted it was an honest mistake on their part.

“Kibot gani ko nga may ara sina,” Miranda said.

He said the local Comelec assumed that it would be like during the May 2022 elections when support staff were hired.

Miranda said there are three other LGUs in the same predicament though he did not name them when pressed by reporters.

Meanwhile provincial Comelec supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria declined to comment on the issue saying that “an investigation is underway.”