By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget of Management (DBM) have adopted an amendment in the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) that would provide for an additional P800 million as special allowance for public school teachers.
This was disclosed by Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda who batted for the allocation of additional P800 million under the 2019 budget of DepEd.
“I am happy to note that DepEd and the DBM have adopted this amendment as part of the proposed budget for next year,” she said in a statement.
“Henceforth, we will ensure that teachers should expect to receive this special allowance yearly. We will also endeavor to work on extending similar allowance to non-teaching personnel and other related positions in the public education system in the future,” Legarda added.
The former chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance said it is expected that on World Teachers’ Day on October 5, the funding allocation will be given as an incentive or honorarium with each teacher receiving P1,000.
“We cannot overemphasize the important role 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 in gathering data from households across the country, among others,” Legarda said.
Expected to benefit from the incentive are 847,467 teachers currently employed under DepEd.
“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,” Legarda said.
Legarda has been pushing for an increase in the chalk or cash allowance of teachers under the General Appropriations Act.
The chalk allowance of teachers was initially pegged at P1,000 but was raised to P1,500 in 2015. After two years, it was increased to P2,500 and P3,500 in 2018.