THE House of Representatives’ committee on basic education and culture has passed a bill that reflects the government’s genuine concern for the welfare of the country’s public school teachers.
House Bill (HB) No. 474 seeks to increase the classroom teachers’ allowance for “teaching supplies and materials,” otherwise known as “chalk allowance,” from P3,500 to P5,000 per school year.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro urged the House leadership headed by Speaker Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo to prioritize the measure.
They urged their colleagues to ensure the immediate passage of HB No. 474 or the “Teaching Supplies Allowance Act.”
It will be recalled that the Senate already approved on third and final reading the counterpart bill last May 30, 2017. The House education committee just adopted the Senate version of the measure.
It is certainly lamentable and saddening that a public school teacher is forced to shell out his/her own money to buy supplies and materials he/she uses daily in the classroom.
“Kung minsan nga ay napipilitan pang umutang sa kamag-anak o kaibigan ang isang guro para lang may maibili ng eraser o chalk,” said the mother of a new public school teacher.
With the skyrocketing prices of everything in this poverty-stricken Southeast Asian nation, the public school teachers’ current yearly P3,500 “chalk allowance” is really “unrealistic.”
Members of Congress ought to grab this opportunity to significantly improve the plight of the country’s hundreds of thousands of public school teachers, who are overworked.
The government cannot afford to have public school teachers feel unrest at this time of economic hardship.