Lawmakers push ₧2K teaching supply allowance for teachers

Photo credit: House of Representatives of the Philippines Facebook page

With  the gradual resumption of face-to-face classes, lawmakers have proposed  the grant of a tax-exempt P2,000 allowance per month within the school year for every public school teacher to cover expenses for teaching supplies and materials. 

Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap filed House Bill 3543 to institutionalize the grant of this P2,000 “Teaching Supplies Allowance” which will cover public school teachers in the basic education sector. 

 Lawmakers said that while “teaching is a profession that serves as a foundation of all other professions,”  the salaries that educators receive, particularly public school teachers, are not commensurate with the sacrifices they make in helping shape the future of the country’s youth.  

“Teachers serve as the nation’s modern-day heroes—tirelessly providing at par education to the youth and honing them to become valuable members of the society,” they said in the explanatory note of the bill.  

 Adding to the rigors of teaching, are expenses for supplies and materials  that public school teachers frequently buy using their own money, the lawmakers pointed out. 

The proposed P2,000 cash allowance for the teachers takes into account the rising prices of commodities, including teaching aids and other related materials, they said.  

 The bill states that the allowance “shall be exempt from income tax.” 

 Under their measure, the cash allowance covers the purchase of both “tangible and intangible” teaching supplies and materials for the implementation or conduct of various learning delivery modalities (LDMs) “within the school year.” 

 The Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) is mandated under the bill to “conduct a periodic review of the Teaching Supplies Allowance, taking into account the current prices of teaching supplies and materials, and, if warranted, recommend the necessary increase in the amount of the allowance.” 

 Funding for the grant of the allowance shall be charged against the annual budget of the DepEd under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the bill added.

 Currently, the grant of the cash allowance to augment the teaching expenses of  public school teachers, formerly known as the “chalk allowance,” is given based on the provisions indicated in the national budget.  

 Under the  2020 GAA, the cash allowance was P3,500 per school year. This was later increased to P5,000 per school year under the GAAs for fiscal year 2021 and 2022.  

Last August 22, most students in public schools returned to  full face-to-face classes. Almost half  of the country’s schools will continue to implement five days of face-to-face classes while the rest have opted for blended learning until October this year.  

 The DepEd has required all public and private schools to transition to full in-person classes by November 2. 

 “Public school teachers will have to cope with even more expenses to carry out their responsibilities once full face-to-face classes are implemented. Our proposal will help ease these financial woes,” Duterte said. 

Image credits: House of Representatives/Facebook


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