MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday, May 22, unanimously gave its final approval to the bill that seeks to institutionalize and increase public school teachers’ so-called “chalk allowance.”
Under the Senate Bill 1964 or the “Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act,” the teaching allowance will be gradually increased from the current P5,000 to P7,500 for school year 2023-2024, then to P10,000 in its third year and succeeding years of implementation. This will be exempted from taxation.
In a statement, Senator Bong Revilla Jr., principal author of the bill, urged their counterpart in the House of Representatives to prioritize the passage of a similar bill.
House Bill 547 has been pending with the House committee on basic education and culture since July 27, 2022.
“I appeal to our colleagues in the lower house to make this measure their priority. This was already passed by the Senate during the 17th and 18th congresses. It is not for me or for all of you. This is for our hard-working teachers, the shapers of our nation, who have dedicated their lives to nurture our children,” Revilla said.
When schools in the country shifted to remote learning in 2020, teachers from public schools took it upon themselves to launch donation drives to raise funds for bond paper and printers for the reproduction of learning modules.
Teachers’ groups have been asking the government for a better compensation package. Currently, those who have Teacher 1 designation earn P27,000 per month.
For years, teachers have been leaving the country in their quest for better pay and better working conditions.
In her Basic Education Report earlier in 2023, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte vowed for better working conditions for teachers who have been on the frontline in addressing the learning crisis.
Besides Revilla, senators Robin Padilla, Sonny Angara, Bong Go, Jinggoy Estrada, Joel Villanueva, Mark Villar, Bato dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Grace Poe, Migz Zubiri, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, and Loren Legarda are co-authors of the Senate bill. – Rappler.com
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