Senator Ralph Recto has filed a bill that seeks a hike to teachers’ chalk allowance from P3,500 to P10,000. Teachers receive their “chalk allowance” at the start of every school year for the purchase of school supplies such as chalks, bond papers, printer inks, and a lot more.
In a statement, Recto said, “This translates into a measly P16 a day. This is not enough in this age of the internet when USBs, in addition to the traditional paper and writing materials, are now part of the teacher’s toolbox.”
“Kulang talaga. Especially in this digital age, when IT-assisted learning is the norm, there are computer-and broadband-use related supplies needed, and these must be considered in computing the supplies the teacher needs,” Recto added.
Recto also noted that the budget of Department of Education for the chalk allowance is amounting to P2.9 billion. This means that if the government will push for this bill, it would be needing an additional P5.4 billion to raise the “chalk allowance” to P10,000 per year.
It is worth noting that in the past few months, a couple of senators have already filed different bills which aim to raise the salary of teachers or provide additional benefits for the country’s educators. Among them are Sen. Nancy Binay, Senator Sonny Angara, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. While the efforts of the lawmakers are being appreciated by many, none of the bills that have been filed has yet to be pushed into law.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri vowed that the Senate will prioritize the call for the salary increase of teachers at the 18th Congress.
On the other hand, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones is also working hand in hand with the government’s economic team in finding ways to realize the hike in teachers’ pay.