TAGUM CITY, Philippines — Public school teachers here lauded the additional increase of chalk allowance after the bicameral conference committee approved raising it to P2,500.
“The teaching supplies allowance would really help the public school teachers to enrich their ways of teaching,” Lotus Bancale, a public school teacher at Pandulian Elementary School told DavaoToday in a phone interview Monday.
Bancale said with such amount, public school teachers would no longer spend their personal money when buying school supplies: pens, papers, cartolinas and other classroom materials.
Meanwhile, Mervic Gomez, an elementary public school teacher in this city, urged the government to approve the proposed increase of public school teachers’ salary. “I think it is high time that the government should reconsider to approve any proposals that would increase our salary.”
“I, for one, is happy with the increase of the chalk allowance but I’ll be happier if there will be an increase in our salary since the cost of living today is very expensive,” Gomez said.
The increased of the “chalk allowance” was made possible through the initiatives of Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro.
Both Tinio and Castro filed the proposed amendment to increase the teaching supplies allowance to the House Committee on Appropriations last October 11, this year. The bicameral budget committee has increased the amount to P2,500.
With this, the Department of Education will be given an additional P892 million “to provide funds for site development of public schools and additional P1,000 cash allowance to all teachers,” among other items based on the Conference Committee Report on House Bill 3408 (FY 2017 General Appropriations Bill).
“This is a welcome increase, as it will ease the pain of all classroom teachers who pay for their teaching supplies and materials out of their own pockets,” Castro said who was a former classroom teacher. “This is only just since, because of the dismally insufficient funds for maintenance and other operating expenses in our public schools, the teachers themselves spend for supplies and materials which they use in their classrooms.”
Tinio also urged for the immediate passage of House Bill 474 which seeks to increase the chalk allowance to P5,000 per classroom teacher per school year.
“Our teachers demand a significant increase to P5,000 of chalk allowance, or P24.75 per school day,” said Tinio, using the rate of the chalk allowance for 202 school days in the current school year.
“We urge Congress to immediately launch deliberations on this bill, and approve it to give significant economic relief to our teachers who are left to augment inadequate government funds for our schools using their own money,” he said. (davaotoday.com)