Showing posts with label Chairman Jose Melo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chairman Jose Melo. Show all posts

Monday, January 10, 2011

Poll employees appeal to Chairman Melo and Commissioners

Press Statement
December 28, 2010


While we join the entire nation in celebrating the success of the first automated national elections in Philippine history this year; we, the rank and file employees of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) under the Alliance of COMELEC Employees in Service (ACES), can not help but express our deep concern over the COMELEC’s state of finances for this year, 2010.

Recent statements from COMELEC higher-ups reveal a seemingly healthy financial situation. COMELEC Law Department Director and Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Ferdinand Rafanan has declared recently that the COMELEC was able to save a whopping P943 Million from the recent bidding processes. He even boasted that the COMELEC has enough savings to provide a monthly bonus of P20, 000 to each COMELEC employee nationwide for a period of nine (9) months! [See attached Rafanan’s statement]

Rafanan’s pronouncement was further reinforced when the majority of COMELEC Commissioners agreed (by affixing their signatures to the Petition circulated by the ACES addressed to the COMELEC en banc on December 20, 2010) to provide a CHRISTMAS INCENTIVE to COMELEC employees who labored hard to ensure the success of the May 10, 2010 Automated Elections and the October 25, 2010 Barangay and SK elections.

But despite the millions, if not billions of savings accumulated; COMELEC employees NEVER received any Christmas Incentive from the COMELEC for two (2) consecutive years already! For this year, we were only provided with Anniversary Bonus (equivalent to one month salary but not less than P10,000) and Rice Subsidy (P2,000). [Note that these incentives are traditionally given to us employees and that only the Directors and Commissioners benefit from them because of their high salaries!] The COMELEC only added another P3,000 to the P7,000 Bonus allocated by the Department of Budget Management (DBM) to government workers last December 15, 2010.

The absence of Christmas Incentive for two (2) consecutive years and other surprising developments, such as Chairman Jose Melo’s early retirement (effective January 31, 2011) and Finance Department Director Eduardo Mejos’ reported resignation (effective December 31, 2010); leads us, all employees, to WORRY AS TO THE FINANCIAL STATUS OF THE COMELEC.

We must take into account that the COMELEC was allotted P11.3 billion supplementary budget for the May 10 Automated National and Local Elections and another P3.2 billion for the October 25 Barangay and SK elections.

Also, we must bear in mind that government employees who contributed either in productivity or cost savings of the agency are entitled to financial incentives, in whatever form. According to Public Sector Labor Management Council (PSLMC) Resolutions, 80% of savings generated by the agency from the adoption and implementation of cost-cutting measures can be the source of these incentives.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

COMELEC accused of granting "selective" incentives

An association of rank and file employees of the Commission on Elections on Monday accused the poll body of supposedly granting "selective" incentives when it gave bonuses to Comelec chairman Jose Melo and other officials last Christmas.

Alliance of Comelec Employees in Service (ACES) president Luallah Pama said that while the Comelec employees did not receive any Christmas incentives, Melo supposedly received P77,653 while his staff and regional election directors got bonuses equivalent to one month of their salaries for their role in the 2010 automated elections.

Pama specifically cited poll body finance department director Eduardo Mejos and Comelec's resident Commission on Audit (COA) auditor Resurreccion Quieta, who supposedly received 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?" Pama said in a statement released Monday.

Pama explained that Comelec employees have not been getting Christmas incentives for the past two years despite the supposed millions in savings accumulated by the poll body, which is allegedly causing a "creeping demoralization" among their ranks.

Since December 28, several rank and file employees of the poll body have been staging protests during their lunch breaks, demanding the release of their Christmas incentives which Pama says is traditionally given to them by the Comelec.

"We shall continue with our protests until the Comelec en banc heeds the legitimate cries of the rank and file," she said.

In an e-mail to GMANews.TV, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said he has yet to see the original payroll documents indicating the supposed Christmas incentives that were given to Melo, his staff, and other officials.

He noted, however, that it is "inaccurate" to say that only those mentioned by Pama received bonuses last Christmas.

"The truth of the matter is that for FY 2010, the Commission actually granted eight separate bonuses to its employees, on top of the regular benefits granted to government employees," Jimenez said.

Jimenez said that among the eight bonuses were:

  • rice subsidy - P8,000
  • special financial aid - P7,000
  • incentive bonus - one month salary, but not less than P10,000
  • across the board allowance - P5,000
  • anniversary bonus - P10,000
  • special economic amelioration assistance - P10,000
  • financial assistance for Comelec Employees - one month salary, but not less than P10,000
  • performance enhancement incentive - P10,000 

Jimenez likewise explained that the granting of "additional benefits" is subject to the availability of funds.  

"This year the savings will be used to defray the expenses for the conduct of the ARMM elections in August 2011.  This is in conformity with the directive of the Department of Budget and Management, with the concurrence of Congress," he said.

  • "The Comelec has given all the benefits it can give," Jimenez added.
    — RSJ, GMANews.TV

  • Thursday, November 25, 2010

    COMELEC Chairman Melo quits post effective end of January

    COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo
    Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo has resigned from the poll body, four years before his term of office is scheduled to end.  He reportedly wants to "move on" after the country's first automated elections last May and the barangay elections last October. 

    A former Supreme Court justice, Melo is 78 and has been in the government service for much of his career. 

    Despite dire predictions by many experts and numerous glitches in the preparations, last May's elections were generally considered a success. 

    Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal confirmed Melo's resignation in a text message to GMANews.TV. 

    Larrazabal said Melo submitted his resignation letter to the poll body and the en banc accepted it on Tuesday. 

    “I know that it [the letter] will be submitted to the Office of the President soon," he said.

    In a separate interview, Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said that the resignation will “tentatively" take effect on January 31, 2011.

    “We have been talking about it [the resignation] for quite some time now. That is why hindi naman kami na-surprise talaga [we were not really surprised by it]," he said.

    For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

    Melo was appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Comelec chairperson in 2008.  His term of office was for seven years, or until 2015.

    Larrazabal did not state the reason behind Melo’s early resignation, although he said that “the Comelec chairman’s main focus was the May 2010 elections when he was appointed to the post."

    Ferrer, for his part, said that the Comelec chairperson resigned because “he wants to move on."

    MalacaƱang has yet to comment on Melo's resignation. 

    As Comelec chairman, Melo oversaw the conduct of the Philippines’ first ever nationwide automated elections last May 10. 

    Amid a barrage of criticism about the automation glitches, Melo had said in February he would resign should the May elections fail due to the Comelec's fault. (See: Comelec chair to resign if automated elections fail)

    However, despite the various technical glitches encountered before and during the polls, the country was able to elect its national and local leaders for the first time using automated counting machines.

    Prior to his stint at the Comelec, Melo was appointed in 2006 by then President Arroyo to head a body to probe the various cases of extrajudicial and political killings in the country, which targeted mostly militant activists and members of the media. 

    The investigating body, known as the Melo Commission, concluded that most of the killings can be attributed to the military. (See: Melo Commission: Palparan could be held liable for killings)-
     Andreo Calonzo/KBK/JV/HS, GMANews.TV

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