THE passage of a proposed measure institutionalizing the grant of a teaching supplies allowance for public school teachers is being pushed in the Senate.
Senate Bill (SB) 1092 (in substitution of SBs 42, 75 and 957), or an Act to be known as the “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act o f 2019,” was prepared jointly by the Committees on Civil Service,
Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation; Basic Education, Arts and Culture; Ways and Means; and Finance with Senators Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Edgardo Angara, Sherwin Gatchalian and Pilar Juliana Cayetano as authors.
The approval of the bill is being pushed to promote and improve the economic status of teachers and assist them in providing quality education to their students.
The proposed legislation authorizes the grant of “teaching supplies allowance” for the purchase of chalks, erasers, forms and other classroom supplies and materials in the amount of P5,000 per teacher per school year.
The grant of the cash allowance authorized in this Act shall be limited to teachers who are engaged in actual classroom teaching in public basic education.
In the first year of the effectivity of the Act, the amount of P2,500 per teacher per school year, shall be charged against the current appropriations of the Department of Education (DepEd) for the teaching supplies allowance, while the additional amount of P2,500 per teacher per school year, shall be charged against any available funds and/or savings of the DepEd.
Thereafter, the amount of P5,000 per teacher per school year, shall be included in the DepEd budget for the allowance under the General Appropriations Act.
The Secretary of Education is mandated to conduct a periodic review of the teaching supplies allowance, taking into account the current prices of classroom supplies, and, if warranted, recommend the necessary increase in the amount of the allowance.
If any part, section or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.
If enacted into law, this Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation.
Also on Monday, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) described the President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement of a 35-percent salary hike for teachers as “unsatisfactory” and would not appease the “growing restlessness” in their ranks.
Duterte on Sunday reassured that there would be a salary hike for teachers, but not doubled as has been granted to the military and police members.
ACT has been calling for at least P30,000 per month for entry-level pay for public school teachers and P31,000 for tertiary level instructors.
Currently, a Teacher 1 receives only P20,754, after the fourth tranche of salary increase for public school teachers was implemented in January.
In celebration of the World Teachers’ Day on Friday, the group staged a protest action in Mendiola, Manila, where they made a human formation of the figure “30K” to reiterate their demand for a substantial pay hike.
“Aside from clarity, seeing as how he had media reports confused with the vague mention of a ‘35 or more’ figure for the pay hike, what we need from the President is not another empty promise, but a concrete, clear-cut and tangible measure with a definite timeline for a substantial increase for teachers and all other civilian employees,” ACT National Chairman Joselyn Martinez said in a statement.
Martinez argued that a 35-percent pay hike was not enough to give teachers a decent living and to dignify their profession.
“It certainly will not placate teachers who have been reasonably restless in the demand for the Duterte administration to grant us a P30,000-basic pay. We teachers deserve no less from this government and we are committed to fighting for what is due us,” she said.
WITH REPORT FROM DIVINA NOVA JOY DELA CRUZ