Leaders of the House of Representatives are pushing for the passage of a bill seeking to grant up to P20,000 teaching supplies allowance for each public basic education teacher per year in a move to at least ease their financial plight during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
House Bill No. 7744, the proposed “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2019,” aims to provide public school teachers with an allowance to be used for the purchase of instructional materials such as, but not limited to, chalks, papers, pens, forms, and IT equipment. It aims to grant P10,000 teaching supplies allowance in the first year of implementation; P15,000, and P20,000 in the succeeding years of implementation, for each public basic education teacher per year.
The bill provides that the grant of cash allowance shall be limited to teachers who are engaged in actual classroom teaching in public basic education.
The measure was filed by House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez and her wife, Tingog Sinirangan party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, and Deputy Majority Leader and Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II.
“As we reel from the effects of COVID-19, our teachers have never ceased in putting our children’s education first. They have gone over and beyond the call of duty in making sure no Filipino child will be left behind. It is now our duty to ensure that no teacher will also be left behind,” the authors of the bill said.
“Public school teachers are the pillars of basic education in our country. Much is owed to them who tirelessly brave the storms brought about by the limitations of our educational support system. This bill aims to alleviate some of the costs our teachers selflessly carry on their shoulders – purchasing instructional materials from their own pockets,” they said in their bill’s explanatory note.
“As primary witnesses to the devotion of our teachers to their vocation and their unparalleled dedication to their students, it is high time that we give back to our beloved teachers and ease their burdens brought about by the costs of teaching materials,” the authors said.
“While much is still needed to be done in improving the education system in our country, this bill shall immediately address and lessen the out of pocket costs of our beloved teachers. The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized. It is the duty of the State to ensure that their teaching resources are sufficient, and working conditions are optimal,” they added.
The bill provides that the in the first year of the effectivity of the proposed Act, the amount to be used for the teaching supplies allowance shall be charged against the current appropriations of the Department of Education (DepEd) and any available funds and/or savings of the DepEd, as determined by the Secretary of Education.
Thereafter, the proposed supplies allowance shall be included in the DepEd budget under the General Appropriations Act, it said.