Monday, November 24, 2014

Teacher's 'chalk allowance' to increase to P1,500 next year

MANILA-The annual “chalk allowance” of public school teachers will go up from the present P1,000 to P1,500 next year, courtesy of a Senate amendment in the 2015 national budget, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said today.

“Chalk allowance “ is the popular term for the amount given to teachers at the start of the school year for the purchase of “chalk, pens, erasers, cartolinas and other school supplies” they use in teaching.

While the amount is far from the P3,000 chalk allowance per year that Recto is advocating in a bill he filed, “the P1,500 represents a 50% increase from the present level.”

“Let’s just view it as a down payment toward the ideal amount. I am sure there will be another increase next year.  Even if the increase is done by installments, it is better than no increase at all,” Recto said.

The senator praised Sen. Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance committee, “for heeding the clamor of public school teachers and for sponsoring the amendment.”

“Although this amendment has bipartisan support, credit for this initiative should go to him,” Recto said.

The Senate Finance committee, which Recto is a vice chair, has recommended a P1.021 billion 2015 budget for “Teaching Supplies Allowance,” which is chalk allowance’s official expenditure name in the national budget.

Per a Department of Education computation, some 681,024 public kindergarten, elementary and high school teachers will receive this allowance next year.

In Senate Bill 713 (Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2013), Recto said the chalk allowance should be increased periodically to reflect the rise in the prices of school supplies and to cope with the changing nature of the latter.

“School supplies no longer pertain to traditional ink, chalk and paper. In this age of Powerpoint, then there are computer-related supplies which the teacher uses, and these must be considered in computing the supplies  the teacher needs,” he said.

“Kung tutuusin, maliit talaga ang  P150 a month para sa chalk allowance  kaya dapat dagdagan. Importante din ito.  Kung ang sundalo ay binibigyan ng bala, ang sa teacher naman ay chalk allowance.”

“Teaching supplies are an important ammo in the war versus illiteracy.” 

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