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Bill filed to upgrade, level Comelec workers’ pay

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A BILL upgrading the salary grade of employees of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been filed at the House of Representatives, ahead of the scheduled filing of certificates of candidacy (CoCs) in Oct. for the 2019 mid-term polls.

House Bill 8258, co-authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also seeks to address the “disparity in wages” of workers both in the Commission’s main and field offices.

The measure was also introduced by Representative Francisco G. Datol, Jr. of the Senior Citizen Party-list and Rep. Feliciano R. Belmontev, Jr. of the Quezon City 4th District.

The bill cites that an Election Officer I is under Salary Grade 12, earning P22,149 monthly, while its municipal counterparts, municipal treasurer and municipal local government officers are under Salary Grade 24, or P73,299 monthly.

“This situation moved the employees to organize the Comelec Employees’ Union in 2012 to actively work for substantial and just salary increases,” the solons said in the explanatory note.

If enacted, the Comelec will have a regional and provincial election office; while the National Capital Region (NCR) shall be divided into five administrative districts.

Each Provincial Election Office will be headed by a Provincial Election Director with an SG-24 level, or P73,299 monthly salary. Likewise, the five administrative districts in NCR will be headed by a District Election Director, who will be entitled to the same salary pay grade. — Charmaine A. Tadalan