Press Release
October 7, 2019

P5K teaching supplies allowance is but 1 of 5 measures hiking teacher pay

Increasing their annual "chalk allowance" should be part of a package of amelioration measures for our public school teachers.

The package should include a pay raise, an increase in their clothing allowance, a hike in chalk allowance, the creation of higher ranks, and increasing the tax-free Personnel Economic Relief Allowance.

The most important of the five is the pay raise. But its grant should not cancel the four. The grant of the increases in the some of the other allowances may be given in installments, but the first down payment must be given now.

In the case of the chalk allowance, increasing it from the present P3,500 to P5,000 will only entail an additional P1.25 billion, which government revenues can provide.

Increasing the clothing allowance by, say, P2,000, from the present P6,000 to P8,000 will require an additional P1.81 billion, which, again, government is capable of giving.

My proposal was for a P10,000 annual Teaching Supplies Allowance (TSA). I respect the wisdom of my colleagues in pegging a lower amount.

But I hope that floor debates on the measure will bring to fore the need for a higher amount.

The present P3,500 TSA translates to a P16 a day budget for all the instructional supplies a teacher needs. It amounts to 50 centavos budget per student a day.

Hindi talaga kasya. Especially in this digital age, when IT-assisted learning is the norm, which requires computer-and broadband-use related supplies.

Dahil si Titser ay may tambak na homework din, kailangan niya ng dagdag na supplies para sa mountains and gigabytes ng reports na kailangan niyang maipasa.

Chalk allowance is to teachers as what bullets are to soldiers. But we don't ask our soldiers to buy their own bullets out of their own meager pay.

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