January 4, 2011
Reference: Luallah Pama, President
A REJOINDER TO THE COMELEC EN BANC’S REACTION TO OUR JUST DEMANDS
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) En Banc, through Director James Jimenez, has finally decided to speak on our rightful demand for benefits, after four fruitful days of COMELEC rank and file workers’ concerted actions nationwide.
They say the Alliance of COMELEC Employees in Service’s (ACES) claim that only Chairman Jose Melo, his staff and Regional Election Directors were the only ones who received bonuses last Christmas was “inaccurate” despite the glaring evidence that we have in possession: a disbursement voucher and a payroll showing Chairman Melo receiving P77,653 and all Regional Election Directors getting from P48,0000 to P50,000 or equivalent to one month of their salaries last December allegedly “in recognition and appreciation of their contribution to the successful implementation of the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.”
We also have proof that even Finance Department Director Eduardo Mejos and COMELEC’s resident COA Auditor Resurreccion Quieta got their share of the bonus, with each receiving P51,623 and P45,971 respectively.
Who’s more greedy?
What can be more accurate than that? If the COMELEC En Banc couldn’t even find time to ask for “original payroll documents” from its Finance Department, the ACES will be more than willing to provide them with copies.
For the record, if we are to believe the COMELEC En Banc that it is “inaccurate” to state that only a select few received bonuses, why did hundreds of rank and file employees queued up all day at our Credit Union last December 30, 2010? If indeed we received Christmas Incentives, there’ll be absolutely no need for that.
The COMELEC En Banc also listed eight (8) “bonuses” that it granted its employees for the year 2010. But aside from the fact that the benefits they listed are rightfully ours as they are mandated by existing laws and are regularly given to government employees, nowhere in the list they provided can we find “Christmas Incentive.” AND THIS IS OUR POINT.
By releasing a list of “bonuses” that they granted its employees (which management was always part of), the COMELEC En Banc wants to paint a picture of a greedy and discontented rank and file. When in fact, it is ALWAYS the COMELEC higher-ups that benefit from most of the bonuses (equivalent to one month salary but not less than P10,000) that they provide because of their high salaries!
Rank and file employees of the COMELEC, unlike workers in other government agencies, haven’t received Christmas Incentive for two (2) consecutive years already (2009 and 2010). This is why the rank and file were outraged when they learned only the Chairman and a select few had a Merry Christmas last year.
The COMELEC En Banc also says that its savings for the year 2010 will be allotted to “defray the expenses for the conduct of the ARMM elections in August 2011.” And this they said “is in conformity with the directive of the Department of Budget and Management, with the concurrence of Congress.”
This assertion is questionable, if not illegal. By no stretch of imagination can they claim that the COMELEC’s savings can be used in the ARMM elections as the upcoming electoral exercise already has an approved budget of P480,019,000.00, apparently too expensive a budget for an electoral exercise in one (1) region with 1.6 million registered voters!
Please note that government employees who contributed either in productivity or cost savings of the agency are entitled to financial incentives, in whatever form. Public Sector Labor Management Council (PSLMC) Resolutions are very clear when it stated that 80% of savings generated by the agency from the adoption and implementation of cost-cutting measures can be the source of these incentives.
Still, we the rank and file employees of the COMELEC, are giving the COMELEC en banc THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT AND THE CHANCE to see the justness of our demand. But as long as they continue to play deaf to our legitimate call for our benefits, we shall carry on with our protests until they finally hear us loud and clear.
IBIGAY ANG NARARAPAT SA EMPLEYADO!
ILABAS ANG KATOTOHANAN SA SAVINGS NG COMELEC!
MABUHAY ANG MGA NAGKAKAISANG EMPLEYADO NG COMELEC!
MABUHAY ANG ACES!