Congress approval on teachers' allowance hike sought after Senate nod
A teacher at Jose Dela Peña National High School in Marikina City attends a webinar training on e-learning in this July 21, 2020 photo
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Congress approval on teachers' allowance hike sought after Senate nod

Christian Deiparine ( - November 10, 2020 - 4:46pm

MANILA, Philippines —  A teachers' group on Tuesday said it is now Congress' turn to pass the measure that would increase the allowance of teachers which the Senate had approved on final reading. 

Members of the upper chamber on Monday passed Senate Bill no. 1092 that would allow for a hike in teachers' funds for supplies, from P3,500 to P5,000 beginning the next school year in 2021 up until 2023. 

This would then increase to P7,500 by School Year 2023 to 2024, and eventually reach P10,000 by the succeeding year. 

While the Alliance of Concerned Teachers had been fighting for a P15,000-increase, it nonetheless welcomed Senate's move and said the ball is now in the hands of the lower chamber. 

"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," ACT's secretary general Raymond Basilio said. 

ACT scored the education department too for pushing through with the blended learning, yet not having enough resources to respond to the needs of the new setup.

"With the crisis-ridden state of our country and our people, the same neglect cannot persist without serious repercussions on the welfare and rights of teachers and learners," Basilio added. 

DepEd has thanked the Senate as well for the bill's approval, saying the staggered increase would help the agency "balance this with fiscal programming considerations."

"We believe that this bill, if enacted to law, is timely financial boost to our brave and resourceful teachers who courageously accepted the challenge of delivering education in these difficult times," the department said in a statement. 

There are now over 25 million students enrolled in public and private schools more than a month since classes resumed after the previous year was cut abrupt by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Many concerns had been raised even before the school year began, such as the challenge of access to stable internet connection, gadgets for online learning, as well as errors in DepEd's modules and broadcast lessons. 

The Duterte government has faced calls to divert billions of pesos in its intelligence operations as well as for its bloody drug-war to address concerns among teachers and students. 

DepEd, which gets the lion's share in the government's annual spending plan, has an approved P606.6 billion funding for 2021, but its officials have admitted that this would still not be enough to respond to the needs of the education sector.

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