Public school teachers and other volunteers who will serve in the electoral boards in future elections will get additional compensation from the Commission Election (Comelec) apart from their honorarium and travel allowance.
The poll body announced this after the Comelec en bank issued a resolution early this month containing the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of Republic Act 10756 otherwise known as the Election Service Reform Act of 2016 (ESRA), for the creation of the Committee on Claims and Assessment (CCA).
It said the CCA shall be composed of the Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations as its Head, and the heads of the Law Department, Personnel Department, Finance Services Department, and the Internal Audit as members.
The CCA will process the following claims of qualified teachers: death benefits or medical assistance for election-related risks; and legal indemnification, legal assistance, lawyer’s fee, legal costs and procedure.
Comelec said death benefits and medical assistance should be claimed 60 days after hospitalization, occurrence of injury/illness, or death of the person who rendered election-related services.
“Within 30 days from receipt of the claim, the CCA shall issue a decision in writing, either granting or denying the claim and stating the reason thereon,” the Comelec said.
“In case of incomplete documents, the 30 days period shall commence from receipt of the lacking documents,” it added.
The death benefits and medical assistance could only be availed by election volunteers once per service period including special election, plebiscite, initiative and recall.
For legal-related assistance, Comelec said the election volunteer must comply with the following conditions: the administrative, civil or criminal case arose from the performance of the claimant’s election-related service; the case is filed before any court or those under the supervision of the Supreme Court; and the claim is filed with respective agency/ies of the claimant/s or with the Commission in case of private persons.
The applicant will also be required to submit the necessary supporting documents to the CCA, which will determine the amount they could receive.
“The claim shall be in a form of cash advance or reimbursement for legal expenses incurred by qualified claimants in relation to their court defense,” Comelec said.
The beneficiary, however, will be required to pay back the amount to CCA in case they are found guilty by final judgement by the Court trying their case.
Comelec resolution 10756 will immediately take effect after its publication in two newspapers of general circulation.
Aside from public school teachers, ESRA allows Comelec-designated private school teachers; national government employees (excluding military officers); members of Comelec-accredited citizens’ arms; and any voter with integrity and competence and without political affiliations to serve in the election boards.