- Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon suggested the idea to increase the teachers’ supplies allowance up to P20,000 annually
- He said there should be enough budget for it and should be considered a priority
- Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, the author of the bill that aims to increase the allowance from P3,500 to P5,000, said they shoud come up with a realistic figure
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon floated the idea to increase the teachers’ supplies allowance to P20,000.
During the plenary session, Drilon questioned Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on why Senate Bill No. 1092 only aims to give the teachers’ allowance an increase of P5,000 from P3,500 when they can afford P20,000.
“Will you accept an amendment to increase it to P20,000?” Drilon asked Revilla. “This is about the needs of the teachers,” Drilon added.
Revilla explained that as much he wants to give the teachers more, he needs to come up with a “realistic” figure that they can afford.
He replied, “We have to be realistic. Kung puwede lang po gawin nating P10,000 [increase] pero it will cost a lot,” he said.
“Kung makakahanap po tayo ng pondo for this, I am very much willing to accept,” Revilla added.
Drilon argued that they can afford the P20,000 annual allowance to all 876,000 teachers because it should be considered a “priority.”
Drilon said he supports the increase but is concerned on the source of the fund. “We have to admit that if the General Appropriations Act will not provide for the budget then this becomes an unfunded measure… It can result in frustration if the President will not include this in the national expenditure program,” Drilon said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson agreed with Drilon; saying the amount of teachers’ allowances “cannot be vague.”
“Hindi puwedeng subject to the availability of funds kasi hindi talaga mapopondohan,” he said.
The senators agreed to postpone further deliberations on the bill until they get more information from the Department of Education next week.