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LGU allowance for teachers must come from local funds

MANILA, Philippines - Allowances provided by local government units (LGUs) to public school teachers should come from their regular budget and not the special education fund (SEF), the Department of Education (DepEd) said last week.

The revised rules on the use of SEF do not prohibit local officials from granting allowances to nationally hired teachers, but these should come from their general fund.

Teacher groups earlier criticized the joint circular issued by DepEd, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Interior and Local Government that removed allowances for teachers as among the chargeable items against the SEF.

Under the circular, SEF can only be used as payment for compensation or allowances of locally hired teachers in elementary and secondary schools identified to have teacher shortages.

“Although payment of allowances of nationally hired teachers is not included, LGUs are not prohibited from granting such. These additional allowances may be sourced from the LGUs regular budget or general fund,” DepEd said.

The circular may result in the removal of allowances provided by some LGUs using the SEF, ACT Teachers’ Party-list Rep. France Castro said.

“Nationally paid teachers will lose their local allowances like those in Manila (P1,000), Mandaluyong (P1,500), Paranaque (P3,000), Makati (P2,000), Muntinlupa, (P2,000), Quezon City (P1,000), Marikina (P2,000) and others,” she said.

“Local governments have been granting teachers’ allowances to augment their meager salaries, and due to the reality that teachers themselves pay for teaching supplies and even furniture – things which, strictly speaking, are for the operation and maintenance of public schools,” she added.               

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