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Ate Vi seeks to hike teachers’ allowance for chalk, other supplies

A House bill has been filed seeking to increase the cash allowance given to public school teachers to purchase teaching supplies.

In House Bill 3449, Batangas Representative Vilma Santos aims to raise to P10,000 the annual cash allowance for public school teachers to buy chalks, erasers, forms and other classroom supplies and materials —a 185% increase in the P3,500 subsidy currently provided to them.

According to Santos, the current salaries of public school teachers are not enough to compensate their heavy workload, much less to cover for the amount they have to shell out from their own pockets to buy teaching materials.

"In spite of the increasing budget allocation that the Department of Education (DepEd) enjoys, the cash allowance they provide to teachers just translates to a P16-subsidy per day, which is relatively insufficient in assisting classroom teachers to deliver informative lectures and stimulating class discussions to the country's 22.1 million public schools," Santos said.

Under the bill, the P3,500 annual cash allowance for teaching supplies to be given to each teacher will be charged against the current budget of the DepEd, while the remaining P6,500 will be allocated from the available funds or savings of the department.

Santos believes that increasing the annual cash allowance of teachers for their teaching materials is one way to respond to their call for pay hike.

"Teachers should be given priority attention, they being contributors to the mental development and the formation of moral and ethical values of our youth. With this additional allowance, the burden on public school teachers will be alleviated and their working conditions will certainly improve," she said. —NB, GMA News