/ 11 November 2020

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro has urged her colleagues in the House of the Representatives to conduct hearings on bills that seek to increase public school teachers’ supplies allowance.

Castro said that the House can adopt the version of the Senate which was approved on Monday.

“We urge the members of the Lower House to immediately hear in the Committee of Appropriations now that the Senate passed the bill for the increase in the teaching supplies’ allowance of public school teachers to P10,000 in the next five years,” Castro said.

“Similar measures have been filed in the Lower House—including our HB 222 filed on the first day of 18th Congress—and up to now they are still pending. Adopting the Senate-approved version will speed up the process,” the lawmaker added.

She said that a higher chalk allowance will be of big help to teachers who have been reeling from heavy workloads and challenges in delivering education amid a raging pandemic.

“We cannot just give an ultimatum to our teachers to expect and even require them to deliver ’21st century teaching’ if we are not providing them with the needed materials, devices, and gadgets to meet the increasing demands in the blended learning scheme under the so-called ‘new normal’,” the lawmaker added.

Castro’s House Bill 222 proposes a P5,000 chalk allowance.

She said that a measly supplies allowance leaves teachers no choice but to spend their own money to purchase materials needed for teaching.

“We urge the Duterte administration to heed the demands of its people alongside with this proposed amendment of raising teaching supplies allowance that will greatly help teachers. Education, health, aid, and other social services for the people must be the Duterte administration’s priority in its budget,” Castro said.