/ 4 November 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers urged the Department of Education to initiate a dialogue with the group on the teachers’ call for P1,500 monthly internet allowance.

The group lamented that its request for a dialogue had been ignored. It expressed hope that the statement of Palace Spokesman Harry Roque that the department will address the issue will change DepEd’s stand.

“In mid-February, we submitted a petition to Malacañang for P1,500 monthly internet allowance, signed by over 15,000 public school teachers. Soon after, we received correspondence that our petition was forwarded to DepEd. We’ve since sent several other letters to DepEd bearing various concerns of teachers and the education sector as a whole, including the provision of the said internet allowance—all with requests for dialogue but, unfortunately, these have not been granted,” ACT said.

“So we do hope that DepEd is at least preparing to hold a dialogue with us on our long-standing call for P1,500 internet allowance,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.

He added that ACT has only so far received two responses from the agency regarding their demand for internet allowance.

“We received reports that the Smart sim cards used for the DepEd 349 plan has expired for some or are set to expire within this month, three months since its activation. This means that teachers will no longer receive the 1GB daily data allowance and will be left with only the accumulated unused 4-GB monthly data provision, if any. As such, the need for DepEd to respond to the P1,500 monthly internet allowance call is ever more urgent. It’s time to have that overdue dialogue,” Basilio said.

The group estimates that P12.54-billion will be needed to provide 835,944 public school teachers with P1,500 internet allowance for 10 months.