Senate wants COMELEC reorganization, salary increase

Efforts to upgrade the salaries of Commission on Elections (Comelec) employees and reorganize the poll body's offices have been given a push in the Senate.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, last Oct. 23, filed Senate Bill No. 2082 to address the notable disparity in the salary grades of Comelec employees with those in other government agencies despite having similar qualifications or equivalent positions. "It is about time that Congress responds to their call for adequate adjustments in their remuneration," the Senate leader said in the explanatory note of his bill titled "An Act Reorganizing the Comelec Offices."

The Comelec Employees' Union has, for decades now, been continuously asserting their right to substantial and just salary increases and the principle of equal pay for equal work has not been felt by them.

"Equal pay for equal work in government service is the ultimate goal of the proposed legislation. It can only be realized through reclassification and upgrading of their current plantilla positions, particularly in the Comelec main and field offices. Furthermore, it is posited that an increase in their salary will be an effective deterrent to graft and corrupt practices," the Senate chief said.
Sotto's bill is seen to benefit the constitutional body's 5,000 employees nationwide. A counterpart measure has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Reps. Gary Alejano, Francisco Datol and Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

The Senate bill also seeks to institute regional and provincial offices and divide the National Capital Region (NCR) into five administrative districts. "The Comelec may delegate its powers and functions or order the implementation or enforcement of its orders, rulings or decisions through the heads of its field offices," the Senate president said. All of the remaining rank and file plantilla positions in the Comelec's main and field offices shall be reclassified and upgraded accordingly, Sotto added.

SOURCE: Sotto seeks reorganization of Comelec's offices and salary upgrade of its employees. Senate of the Philippines. Press Release: November 6, 2018.