The move of the Senate to gradually increase the teaching supplies allowance of teachers was welcomed by both the Department of Education (DepEd) and teachers groups on Tuesday.
“Our public school teachers are our modern-day heroes and we thank the Senate of the Philippines for being one with us in continuously supporting their welfare,” DepEd said in a statement.
The Senate on Monday, Nov. 9, approved on third and final reading the institutionalization of the staggered increase of teaching supplies allowance in the next four years.
Under Senate Bill 1092, the staggered increase in the teaching supplies allowance are as follows: P 5,000 for School Years (SYs) 2021-2022 and 2022-2023; P7,500 for SY 2023-2024 and Php 10,000 for SY 2024-2025.
“We believe that this bill, if enacted to law, is a timely financial boost to our brave and resourceful teachers who courageously accepted the challenge of delivering education in these difficult times,” DepEd said. “We welcome this development, and the Senate’s suggested staggered approach will help us balance this with our fiscal programming considerations,” it added.
DepEd said that it is also looking forward to “more collaboration” with lawmakers to push for necessary interventions to support teachers and students. The agency noted that the improvement of the overall basic education system would benefit the country’s future generations.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines – in separate statements – also commended the Senate for its recent move.
“We appreciate this move, this unanimous decision of our Senate to raise the teaching aids allowance of our public school teachers,” TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said.
However, Basas noted that the proposed amount may not be enough to meet the requirements of teachers in the new modes of teaching where gadgets and Internet connectivity are daily necessities. “Thus, urgent action on laptop and internet allowance should still be considered,” he added.
ACT also commended the “decisive steps” taken by senators to respond to teachers’ rightful clamor for bigger teaching supplies allowance. “This shows that our senators sincerely try and find ways to alleviate the burdens of our teachers amid the immense demands and challenges of delivering education especially in the time of COVID-19,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
Basilio noted that even before the pandemic hit, education workers have carried the weight of providing this basic social service to the Filipino youth while the government increasingly relinquished its fundamental role to provide such.