MANILA, Philippines – The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) remains hopeful that the Senate and the House of Representatives would override President Bongbong Marcos’ decision to veto a bill exempting the honoraria, allowances, and other benefits of poll workers and staff from taxes.
LENTE stood its ground by stating that the election workers who have rendered service on election day should be entitled to the honoraria and allowances mandated by the ESRA.
“The recently concluded 2022 National and Local Elections was one of the longest elections held from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Election workers, who were mostly teaching staff, had to wake up at 3:00 AM to prepare for their tasks on election day. Some even risked their lives to fulfill their duty in violence-ridden municipalities. The least they deserve is to receive their honoraria and allowances in full,” said Atty. Ona Caritos, LENTE Executive Director.
For this year’s elections on May 9, the honoraria and allowances of those who served were subjected to a 20-percent withholding tax.
“While we recognize the importance of “correcting the inequity in the country’s tax system and negating the progressivity of the reforms introduced” as stated in President Marcos’ veto message, it should not be at the expense of poll workers who have delivered their task in ensuring a safe, accountable, and transparent elections.”
LENTE firmly believes in the critical role of our election workers in ensuring Filipinos’ right to suffrage amidst one of the most challenging contexts – a global pandemic.
“We urge the House of Representatives and the Senate to override the veto of the President,” Atty. Caritos added.