Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed a Senate Bill Increasing allowance for teaching supplies from P3,500 to P10,000 a year.
In filing Senate Bill No. 42 or the proposed “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act”, Recto said it was imperative to institutionalize the grant of an allowance for teaching supplies for the 840,000 public school teachers nationwide and increase this by 185 percent.
“With this additional allowance, the burden on public school teachers will be alleviated and their working conditions will certainly improve,” he added.
Recto noted that public school teachers, who receive salaries that are not commensurate with the volume of their work and responsibilities, have to shell out their own money to buy the materials they use in teaching their students.
Although the DepEd had increased the allowance of teaching supplies from P2,500 in 2018 to P3,500 in 2019, the senator said the current allowance translates to only P16 subsidy per day.
He also said the allowance is relatively insufficient in helping teachers deliver informative lectures and in stimulating class discussion to the country’s 22.1 million public school students.
The teaching supplies allowance is usually granted to teachers at the start of the year. The amount of consumable supplies covers basic teaching tools such as pens, paper, chalks, erasers, and other classroom supplies and materials.
The lawmaker pointed out that Republic Act No. 4670, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, mandates that the salaries of public school teachers are appropriated to ensure that teachers live a reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families.
However, Recto noted the salaries of public school teachers are currently bound by the Salary Standardization law (SSL), hence their compensation hike would be subject to comparisons with the qualifications, skills, and difficulties of other government positions.
“Thus, one of the urgent ways to respond to the clamor of our public school teachers for much needed support is to grant them with additional benefits in the form of cash allowances which would not be subject to the SSL,” he said.
Under the bill, the allowance, which shall be exempt from income tax, shall be given to teachers who are engaged in actual classroom teaching in public basic education.
Also under the measure, the Education Secretary shall be mandated to conduct a periodic review of the Teaching Supplies Allowance, taking into account the current prices of classroom supplies and recommend the necessary increase in the amount of allowance to be included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
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