By Chito Chavez
As the election period kicked-off on Sunday, Quezon City Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte yesterday pushed for a peaceful, honest, trouble-free and non-violent elections that will reflect the true sentiments of the electorate.
Recognizing that all political aspirants want to serve the public, Belmonte also called on the local poll candidates to conduct their campaign in the most professional manner devoid of any form of harassment, violence and other inappropriate acts.
“I am hoping for a peaceful election because an election is just a political exercise. As a candidate, no matter who your opponents are, you should respect the wishes of your people,” said Belmonte.
Citing the recent killings of AKO Bicol Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe and Bukidnon Mayor Joelito Talaid, Belmonte bemoaned the incidents of poll-related violence in the country, and pleaded for peace during the election period so that Quezon City will not be considered an election hotspot.
“Sana hindi naman humantong ang Quezon City sa ganoong sitwasyon katulad ng nangyayari sa iba pang election hotspots. Huwag nating hayaan na umusbong ang karahasan sa ating lungsod nang sa gayon, hindi tayo maging election hotspot (I hope that this does not reach up to that point in Quezon City like what is happening in other election hotspots. Let us not allow violence to prosper in the city so that we won’t be classified as an election hotspot),” she added.
Belmonte urged the supporters of all the political aspirants to exercise their rights to suffrage in a peaceful and sportsmanlike manner adding that all should respect whatever the results of the elections might be.
Meanwhile the city’s public school teachers showed their willingness to do voluntary election duties after Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista signed the ordinance increasing their longevity pay by as much as 300 percent.
Quezon City Ordinance 2782-2018 orders that the teachers’ longevity pay of P100 for every five years of continuous service will be increased to P400.
Teachers, who have rendered at least five years of continuous service, exclusive of such services outside Quezon City, will benefit from the pay hike.
Mentors, who have rendered at least at least 10 years of service but registered a year’s worth of leave, will still be eligible for the new benefit as long as their leave arose on account of medical and/or grave personal circumstances.
“Such amount as may be necessary for the implementation of this Ordinance is hereby appropriated from the General Fund or Special Fund,” the ordinance stated.