The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has “approved in principle” the distribution of additional pay to teachers who worked overtime as poll watchers during the elections.

The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier urged the Comelec to pay teachers who worked extra hours an additional P3,000 “across the board for the extra hours rendered by some teachers due to VCM and SD card issues.”

“That’s approved in principle,” Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said in a “Laging Handa” briefing but said the amount had yet to be determined.

“The en banc has already discussed it yesterday. We are now identifying what and where did the incidents take place, where were the defective machines, wherein teachers were forced to extend their duties, electoral board members, in those precincts,” he added.

Garcia also said the additional payment could be given “across the board,” meaning all involved persons—not only teachers—who had worked additional hours would be compensated.

“Papantay-pantayin natin dahil pare-parehas naman po silang lahat na nag-overtime at naperhuwisyo o naistorbo dahil sa pagkasira po ng makina,” he said.

Nearly 2,000 vote-counting machines were reported defective or malfunctioning on election day, causing long queues in precincts and delays in voting. John Ezekiel J. Hirro