ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro urged the House of Representatives Wednesday to approve the measure increasing the teaching supply allowance, also known as chalk allowance, of public school teachers, after the Senate approved Senate Bill (SB) No.1092 or the proposed “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act” on second reading Tuesday.

131217 EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW Kasiban  5 - Solon pushes measure hiking chalk allowance
(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Castro had earlier refiled the counterpart measure House Bill No. 222 in the 301-member House that seeks to increase  the teaching supply allowance from the current P3,500 to P5,000.

“We call the House leadership to rush the passage of several bills including our own HB 222, which was filed as early as 2015. Matagal nang nangangalawang ang mga panukalang ito (These proposals have rusted with age),” she said.

“How infuriating it is that teachers have to spend out of their own purses for the expenses for teaching such as for modules – bond paper, ink, printer – and even the Internet costs. Increasing the teaching supplies allowance will go a long way to ensure that public school teachers will not be driven into poverty just because of different learning modalities under the so-called ‘new normal,’” explained Castro, a former teacher.

This measure was approved by the House on the committee level and by the Senate on third and final reading during the previous 17th Congress.

The teaching supplies allowance – also known as chalk allowance – was pushed through the efforts of ACT Teachers party-list President Antonio Tinio during budget deliberations and the lobbying of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers or Act.

The allowance was a measly P700 back in 2012. 

The Castro measure has been pending before the House’s Basic Education panel since July 23, 2019.

“The Duterte administration must heed to the demands of its people in that this proposed amendment increasing the chalk allowance will be included in the next year’s national budget. Now that the 2021 budget deliberations have resumed, we will remain critical and vigilant so that this administration will ensure that the vital programs for health, education, and aid are adequately funded,” Castro said. 

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