HIGHLIGHT: Poll uniforms for COMELEC staff, teachers who will sit as board of elections inspectors (BEIs) and support staff now brings the cost to a total of P26 million.
For the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), an election watchdog organized in 2007, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is "wasting resources."
Today, Chairman Andres Bautista has requested additional bib vests for 70 thousand support staff, 40 days before the elections on May 9.
From the previous budget of P22 million for 280 thousand bib vests and 6 thousand pieces of shirts, the contracts for winning bidders and suppliers will amount to exactly P26,553,975 as of today, after briefings conducted by the poll body's bids and awards committee.
The tees costing P200 each will be worn by COMELEC staff while the bib vests pegged at P75 apiece will be for the public school teachers, and will be used for a day.
COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters on March 28 that the poll uniforms are "very important, if you’re going to have people resisting the lure of filthy money, for them to feel the dignity of the work that they’re doing, to feel proud of what they’re doing."
For its part, LENTE urged the public to stop COMELEC's "unnecessary waste or resources", in a series of tweets since Sunday.
They further suggested that budget be converted to per diems for around 3oo thousand public school teachers who will play vital roles as BEIs.
The teachers will each receive P6, 500 for their three-day election duties.
LENTE will also have its monitoring of vote tallies on May 9. It has three thousand volunteers to date, mainly composed of lawyers, law students and paralegals.
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