Recto seeks 185 % increase in teaching supplies allowance

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph is proposing to increase the allowance of teaching supplies from P3,500 to P10,000 per teacher per school year.

Recto said Senate Bill No. 42 seeks to institutionalize the grant of a Teaching Supplies Allowance for the 840,000 public school teachers nationwide and at the same time increase the allowance currently appropriated by the Department of Education (DepEd) by 185 percent from the current P3,500 to P10,000 per teacher per school year.

He said public school teachers, who receive salaries that are not commensurate with the volume of their work and responsibilities, have to shell out their own money to buy the materials they use in teaching their students.

Although the DepEd had increased the allowance of teaching supplies from P2,500 in 2018 to P3,500 in 2019, Recto said the current allowance translated to only P16 subsidy per day.

He said the allowance is relatively insufficient in assisting classroom teachers to deliver informative lectures and in stimulating class discussion to the country's 22.1 million public school students.

Teaching supplies allowance are granted to teachers at the start of the year for consumable supplies such as pens, paper, chalks, erasers, and other classroom supplies and materials.

Under the bill, the allowance shall be given to teachers who are engaged in actual classroom teaching in public basic education. The allowance shall be exempt from tax on income.

Recto said the Secretary of Education shall be mandated to conduct a periodic review of the Teaching Supplies Allowance, taking into account the current prices of classroom supplies and recommend the necessary increase in the amount of allowance to be included in the General Appropriations Act.

"With this additional allowance, the burden on public school teachers will be alleviated and their working conditions will certainly improve," he added.

Source: Senate of the Philippines