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House urged to hear bill raising ‘chalk allowance’ to P5,000

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Two lawmakers urged the House of Representatives to hear a bill seeking to increase the teaching supplies’ allowance, also referred to as “chalk allowance”, from PHP2,500 to PHP5,000 per school year.

In a statement on Friday, ACT Teachers Partylist Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro called on the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture to immediately hear and endorse for plenary approval their House Bill 474, which they filed in June last year.

The lawmakers made the call following the Senate’s plenary approval of its own version on Tuesday. The upper chamber is seen to give its final nod to the bill before Congress goes into sine die adjournment next week.

HB 474, otherwise known as the Teaching Supplies Allowance Act, seeks to raise from PHP2,500 to PHP5,000 the cash allowance for the purchase of chalks, erasers, forms, and other classroom supplies and materials. The chalk allowance is given to public school teachers every school year.

“Another school year is about to open, and our teachers will again feel the pain of buying chalk, papers, and other supplies they use daily in their classrooms using their own money,” said Castro.

“Congress should grab this opportunity to approve the bill and significantly reduce this burden of teachers,” she added.

Castro said the allowance for teaching supplies would double to PHP24.75 per school day if the fund will be raised to PHP5,000.

Tinio, for his part, said Congress should also increase the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of public schools along with the increase in chalk allowance.

“The perennial problem of insufficient funds for the maintenance and operations of public schools is what forces our teachers to buy teaching and classroom necessities out of pocket,” said Tinio.

The allowance was only PHP700 in 2012, then to PHP1,500 in 2015 and PHP2,500 this year, due to amendments to the annual national budgets. (Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)

Photo credit: kalusugan.ph

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