By Mario Casayuran
The Senate bicameral panel has allocated P800 million as special allowance to public school teachers under the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget.
This will be on top of the increase in the chalk allowance for teachers the past years, Senator Loren Legarda, chairwoman of the bicameral conference panel of the Upper House, said Saturday.
These will be embedded in the national budget awaiting approval or veto by President Duterte.
The national government is at present operating under a reenacted budget.
Legarda, also chairwoman of the Senate finance committee, said the special allowance would be distributed at P1,000 per teacher, every World Teachers’ Day on October 5, as an incentive or honorarium.
The lady legislator said that the goal was to highlight the value of teachers and the essential role they play in the development of the youth.
“We cannot overemphasize the importance of our teachers. They are our unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to mold the minds of the Filipino youth. They also do other duties for our country by assisting during the elections and aid the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in gathering data from households across the country,” she said.
“We must advance the social, economic, and professional status of our teachers, who face day-to-day challenges in our education system. It is only fair that the men and women behind our successes receive the benefits and incentives they deserve,” she added.
In the previous budgets, Legarda said she also supported the increase in the chalk or cash allowance of teachers.
The increase in chalk allowance allowed teachers to purchase more classroom supplies that aid them in effectively teaching their students.
In 2015, the chalk allowance of teachers was raised from P1,000 to P1,500. It was increased to P2,500 and P3,500 during years 2017 and 2018, respectively.