House approves compulsory insurance for election workers

THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill creating a compulsory insurance for election officials and workers during national and local elections.

The authors of House Bill 6528 are Reps. Juliet Cortuna (Party-list, A-Teacher), Mariano Piamonte (Party-list, A-Teacher), Antonio Tinio (Party-list, Act Teachers),  Andres Salvacion, Jr. (3rd District, Leyte) and Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. (Lone District, City of Dasmariñas), Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.

The compulsory insurance will be for members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI), the Board of Election Tellers (BET) and their support staff for every national and local election.

“The compulsory insurance is one way the State could concretely express its recognition of the crucial role of the members of the BEI, SBEI, the BET and their support staff and the dangers that attend every election,” Cortuna said.

The bill mandates that the death benefits shall include the awarding of P200,000 to the beneficiaries on the first year of implementation of the proposed law and the insurance coverage shall also include hospitalization and medical expenses of the injured beneficiary until his/her recovery notwithstanding benefits provided for by the Government Security and Insurance System (GSIS) or any institution granting the same to the insured.

The bill, which is expected to be passed on final reading come resumption of session in October, provides that the insurance coverage shall commence from the time the insured is exposed to any election-related risk.

The coverage starts from, but not limited to, the acquisition of election paraphernalia and it shall be terminated upon proper turn-over of the same to the appropriate receiving officer or until any election-related risk is no longer present, the bill states.

The measure also provides that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) shall pay the corresponding premium to be determined by the Government Service Insurance System.

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