Bill seeks extra mentors’allowance

Two lawmakers on Monday proposed a measure that, if passed, would grant public school teachers a tax-free P2,000 allowance per month during the school year to cover their expenses for teaching supplies and materials.

House Bill 3543, filed by Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, seeks to institutionalize the P2,000 “Teaching Supplies Allowance” for public school teachers in the basic education sector.

While  “teaching is a profession that serves as a foundation of all other professions,”  the lawmakers emphasized that educators’ salary, particularly public school teachers, is not commensurate with the sacrifices they make in helping shape the youth’s future.

According to the bill’s authors, their proposed P2,000 cash allowance considers increased commodity prices, such as teaching aids and other related materials.

Mario Clara Jr., who has been teaching elementary pupils for over 17 years, said that although the proposed amount is little, he welcomes the proposal since it will provide additional compensation for teachers.

“P2,000 is better than nothing. I will support that,” said Clara, referring to the proposed measure.

Clara informed the Daily Tribune that the Department of Education provides public school teachers like him with a P5,000 clothing allowance every April and a P6,000 chalk allowance every August or the start of the school year
However, he said the P5,000 chalk allowance is insufficient since it will be exclusive for the whole school year.

Chalk allowance “We are not only using chalk but also cardboard, manila paper, printer, laptop, ink, etc.,” he told this paper.

Clara confessed that he sometimes spent his own money on classroom necessities, such as when he purchased linoleum for his tabletop this Brigada Eskwela.

Under the bill, the cash allowance covers the purchase of “tangible and intangible” teaching supplies and materials for implementing or conducting various learning delivery modalities “within the school year.”

“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.

The DepEd secretary 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, the bill states.

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