Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday welcomed the Senate’s approval of the bill increasing the annual teaching supplies allowance of public school teachers saying this will help ease their burden especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

gatchalian3 - Gatchalian hails Senate OK of increased ‘chalk allowance’ for public school teachers
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Formerly known as the “chalk allowance,” the teaching supplies subsidy will be increased from the current P3,500 to P10,000 once the bill is enacted into law.

The increase, however, will be given in tranches considering the fiscal burden that the country faces because of the pandemic.

Gatchalian said the passage of 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 (It’s high-time we raise the funds we give our teachers so they can buy the tools they need for teaching),” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.

“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, (As we respond to the challenges of the pandemic and as our education sector strives to rise up, it’s only right to give the support we need for the benefit of students),” said Gatchalian.

Prior to the pandemic, the senator said teachers have been shelling out money from their own pockets to augment the teaching supplies allowance they receive annually.

But the pandemic exacerbated this challenge as teachers face additional expenses related to distance learning, including the cost of Internet connectivity.

“Hindi na natin dapat hayaan ang mga gurong mag-abono ng malaking halaga upang magampanan nila ang kanilang tungkulin (We shouldn’t leave our teachers to shell out more of their own money just so they can carry out their tasks),” he added.

For S.Y. 2021-2022 and S.Y. 2022-2023, the teaching supplies allowance will be P5,000 per teacher, which will increase to P7,500 for S.Y. 2023-2024. By 2024-2025 onwards, the amount will be P10,000.

The Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1092, the Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2020, on third and final reading on Monday.

Senators who filed the measure are Senators Ramon “Bong Revilla, Jr. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, while Gatchalian and Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon were made co-authors of the bill.

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