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Solon eyes allowances for election volunteers

() - August 10, 2008 - 12:00am

Cebu fourth district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon has filed a bill that seeks to grant allowances for the duly accredited election citizen’s arm and watchdog organizations in recognition of their sacrifices during elections.

Salimbangon was however quick to defend his House Bill 2391 saying it is not intended to grant compensation to the volunteers because the essence of voluntarism would be lost.

The legislator explained that his proposal seeks to augment the volunteers’ cost of transportation, food and miscellaneous expenses which they incur in the process of being the watchdog during the election day and until all the ballot boxes reach their final destination.

Among the recipients of the proposed allowances are the members of National Movement on Free Elections (NAMFREL), Cebu-Citizens’ Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation (C-CIMPEL), and other watchdog groups that are accredited by the Commission on Elections.

The HB 2391 provides that volunteers shall be entitled to receive P500 allowance for every day of service. This for those who are identified and attested to by the group or agency that he or she is affiliated to an accredited election citizen’s arm and/or watchdog organization as an election volunteer.

The amount needed for the implementation of this act shall come from the funds of the COMELEC under the General Appropriations Act.

The COMELEC shall also be the one to issue the necessary rules and regulation, in coordination with the different election citizen’s arm and/or watchdog organization, for the effective implementation of this act.

“Election volunteers are the very persons who neutralize the conduct of elections and their presence in the polling places and their roles as an impartial watcher in every election is one of the major factors that bring credibility to every election process. They bring about a true, honest and orderly election. It is but right that they be given due recognition even through this very small gesture,” Salimbangon said. — Garry B. Lao/WAB

BENHUR SALIMBANGON ELECTION EMPOWERMENT AND LIBERATION FREE ELECTIONS GARRY B GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT HOUSE BILL INVOLVEMENT AND MATURATION
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