Reference: Luallah Pama, President
Date: January 5, 2011
COMELEC workers union questions use of savings for ARMM polls
The Alliance of COMELEC Employees in Service (ACES) today questioned the Commission on Election’s plan to use the agency’s savings for the upcoming elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“We’ll be spending some P2 billion for ARMM election. Congress told us to use our savings so we’ll be forced to use the savings,” COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo told reporters yesterday after being quizzed by the media on the rank and file workers’ demand for incentives.
“Chairman Melo seems to be not getting our point,” stated ACES President Luallah Pama. “We are not after the entire savings of the COMELEC, we are just asking for what is due the COMELEC employees.”
Pama explained that under existing Civil Service rules, rank and file employees who either contributed to the agency’s productivity or cost-cutting measures are entitled to as much as eighty percent (80%) of the agency’s savings from Personnel Services (PS) and Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), in the form of financial incentives.
“For the COMELEC Chairman to now claim that the agency’s savings in 2010 will be earmarked to the upcoming ARMM polls not only tramples on the rank and file’s rightful share of the funds, it also puts the integrity of the COMELEC as an independent Constitutional Body into question,” Pama said.
She explained that the COMELEC supposedly has full control on how it spends its funds, it being a part of the Constitutional Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG).
“Sa totoo lang, kung gusto ng COMELEC na magbigay ng incentives sa mga empleyado, maraming paraan, dahil may laya naman sila sa paggamit ng pondo.Pero kung ayaw, talagang mas marami ang dahilan.”
Rank and file employees of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), under the ACES, have earlier denounced what they called “selective granting of incentives” wherein only Chairman Jose Melo, his staff and all Regional Election Directors got bonuses last Christmas.
The ACES President said they got hold of a document that showed Chairman Melo got P77,653 while Regional Election Directors got 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.” Pama added 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.
“We are baffled as to where they find the gall to reward themselves with bonuses last Christmas when the rest of the rank and file got nothing. Do they mean they were the only ones that did their jobs last May 10? Were it not that all the Election Day glitches and snags happened only because of the bad decisions that came from them?” the ACES said in a statement released Monday. ###