Poll Workers Who Faced Vote Counting Machine Problems Get Extra Pay
Poll workers who rendered overtime due to issues with the voting counting machines are entitled to extra pay, according to the COMELEC.
According to Commissioner George Garcia in a statement made last Monday, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has approved in principle the appeal to give additional honoraria to poll workers who rendered overtime due to issues with the vote-counting machines (VCM).
He further adds that all poll workers—including teachers and technical staff—will get extra pay of the same amount, regardless of how long they spent on duty. However, he did not disclose the exact amount. “Ang ating naging desisyon diyan ay across the board doon sa mga presinto na nagkaroon ng problema at diperensya ang machine,” he explained in the government-led Laging Handa briefing. “Papantay-pantayin natin dahil pare-parehas silang nag-overtime at naperwisyo o naistorbo sa pagkasira ng makina.”
[Rough Translation: We decided that the honoraria will be distributed across the board to the precincts that had problems with the machines. It will be equal since they all rendered overtime and were inconvenienced by the breakdown of the machines.]
Last Sunday, acting COMELEC spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said that the affected poll workers could receive around PHP 2,000 to PHP 3,000, based on the amount given during the last elections. However, they are still finalizing the list of voting precincts that encountered VCM glitches.
Over 1,800 machines malfunctioned during the 2022 elections—held last May 9. Concerns cited include paper jams, rejection of ballots, and faulty scanners, but the glitches were resolved on-site, while 143 defective VCMs needed to be replaced and sent to repair hubs. These glitches in VCMs and SD cards have delayed the conduct of this year’s polls in several areas.