Davao City Comelec explains delayed honoraria

By Armando Fenequito, Jr.

May 19, 2018, 4:59 pm

DAVAO CITY--The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has appealed to teachers who served as Board of Election Tellers (BET) for consideration over the delay in their honoraria.

Davao City-Comelec spokesperson Mohammad Omar Samama explained that the delay was caused by the confusion on how to resolve the deduction of the 5-percent withholding tax.

After the appeal of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list to exempt them from the tax, the problem emerged because certain members of the electoral board were exempted and others were not,” Samama said in an interview on Friday.

He said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has approved the request of the teachers, but only for those who have an annual income of less than PHP250,000.

“There was confusion on our part on who are subject to taxation and who are not because we do not know them personally,” Samama said.

He said that with the approval, teachers who want to be exempted need to submit a notarized sworn statement that their annual income is only PHP250,000 or less. Teachers who want to be deducted with the 5 percent tax may simply fill out a BIR 2307 form.

Teachers who misdeclare their income may be liable for perjury, Samama warned.

Another factor for the delay is the considerable number of teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in Davao City -- 8,199 in total, he said.

Samama said the teachers may be able to receive their honoraria on or before May 29, in compliance with the Comelec directive to release the payments within 15 days after the elections.

Under Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, the BEI chairperson is entitled to receive PHP6,000; BEI, PHP5,000; supervisor, PHP4,000; and support staff, PHP2,000 each. (PNA)