Congress urged to prioritize ‘Teaching Supplies Allowance Act’ for teachers

Two lawmakers are urging the House of Representatives to prioritize the passing of a bill that will increase the school supplies allowance of public school teachers.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro made an appeal to hasten the passing of House Bill 474 or the “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act.”

Image by House of Representatives of the Philippines via Facebook page

The bill aims to increase from P3,500 to P5,000 the cash allowance given yearly to classroom teachers in public schools for the purchase of chalks, erasers, forms, and other classroom supplies and materials.

Castro said that teachers are forced to shell out from their own pockets because the P3,500 allowance is not enough to cover all the school supplies needed every year.

She explained, “Despite the increases, P3,500 a year or P16.83 per school day is barely enough. The Department of Education expects them to deliver what they call ‘21st century teaching’ without ensuring that they are provided with laptops, Internet connection, flash drives, printers and other gadgets needed to meet the increasing demands.”

Image by Act Teachers Party-List via Facebook page

Rep. Tinio also asked for a swifter action, “More than two years have already passed since we filed this measure. One year after the Senate’s approval, we are expecting the Lower House to act swiftly for this bill’s approval.”

The Senate already approved on third reading the counterpart bill on May 30, 2017.

The two representatives’ joint statement on ACT-Teachers Facebook stated, “Now more than ever, public school teachers’ chalk allowance should be increased to P5,000. We urge the leadership of both houses of Congress to ensure the immediate passage of this measure.”