/ 16 October 2020

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro on Wednesday asked her colleagues in the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of several bills that will increase the teaching supplies allowance of teachers.

“How infuriating it is that teachers have to spend out of their own purses for the expenses for teaching such as for modules — bond paper, ink, printer and even the internet costs. Increasing the teaching supplies allowance will go a long way to ensure that public school teachers will not be driven into poverty just because of different learning modalities under the so-called ‘new normal’,” Castro said.

“We call the House leadership to rush the passage of several bills including our own HB 222 which was filed as early as 2015. Matagal nang nangangalawang ang mga panukalang ito, simula nang una naming inihain ito noong 2015,” the solon said.

She lamented Congress’ slow response in addressing the concerns of public school teachers.

“Nag-uusad pagong ang Kongresong ito sa hinaing ng mga guro na doble-doble ang pagod at ubos-kayang nakikipagpatintero sa virus masiguro lang na matuturuan ang mga estudyanteng Filipino,” Castro said.

She lauded the Senate for passing on second reading a measure that aims to increase the teaching supplies allowance of teachers to P5,000 for school year 2021-2022, P7,500 on 2023-2024 and P10,000 on 2024-2025.

The annual chalk allowance increased from ₱700 to ₱1,000 in 2012. In 2016, it increased to ₱1,500, ₱2,500 in 2017 and ₱3,500 in 2018.

Castro urged the government to include in next year’s budget an allocation for chalk allowance of teachers.

“Now that the 2021 budget deliberations have resumed, we will remain critical and vigilant so that this administration will ensure that the vital programs for health, education, and aid are adequately funded,” the lawmaker said.