Senator Win Gatchalian hailed the Senate’s third reading approval of a measure that would increase teachers’ allowance for teaching supplies.
Senate Bill No. 1092 or the Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2020, which Gatchalian co-authored and co-sponsored, aims to institutionalize and increase the annual teaching supplies allowance, previously known as the “chalk allowance,” from the current P3,500 to P10,000 by S.Y. 2024-2025.
The increase, however, would be gradual considering the fiscal burden that the country faces because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For S.Y. 2021-2022 and S.Y. 2022-2023, the teaching supplies allowance would be P5,000 per teacher, which would increase to P7,500 for S.Y. 2023-2024. By 2024-2025 onwards, the amount would be P10,000.
While Gatchalian originally proposed an amount of P5,000 for the teaching supplies allowance before the pandemic, he welcomed the increases that he said would help teachers cope with challenges in the roll-out of distance learning.
Under the measure, this allowance can be used to purchase teaching supplies and materials for the implementation or conduct of various learning modalities. Once approved into law, the allocation for the teaching supplies allowance will be included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and charged against the budget of the Department of Education.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture pointed out that prior to the pandemic, teachers have been shelling out money from their own pockets to augment the teaching supplies’ allowance they receive annually. The pandemic exacerbated this challenge as teachers face additional expenses related to distance learning, including the cost of internet connectivity, Gatchalian explained.
According to the senator, the measure is timely and essential to support teachers who have been serving as “frontliners” of learning continuity.
“Napapanahon nang taasan natin ang pondong ibinibigay sa mga guro para mabili nila ang kanilang mga pangangailangan sa pagtuturo. Sa ating pag-responde sa mga hamon ng pandemya at sa pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon, nararapat lang na ibigay natin ang lahat ng suporta para na rin sa kapakanan ng mga estudyanteng tinuturuan nila,” said Gatchalian.
“Hindi na natin dapat hayaan ang mga gurong mag-abono ng malaking halaga upang magampanan nila ang kanilang tungkulin,” he added.