Senate President Seeks to Increase “Chalk Allowance”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a bill that would raise the “chalk allowance” from P3 500 to P10 000 a year. Seeking to push the teaching supplies allowance to a 300 percent increase.
“Chalk allowance” is given to public school teachers at the beginning of the school year for purchasing of school supplies such as chalk, pen, erasers, paper, etc.
Senate leader mentioned that 3 500 pesos a year would not be enough for the teachers to use specially in this modern age. He goes by saying, “This translates into a measly P16 a day, this is not enough in this age of internet when USBs, in addition to the traditional paper and writing materials, are now part of the teacher’s tool box.”
“‘Chalk allowance’ is to teachers as what bullets are to soldiers. And those waging the war against illiteracy need more of this ammo. Because at present, all of them dip into their meager salaries to buy the supplies they need for teaching,” Recto stressed out.
But, “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,” he added.
He pointed out that this year, Department of Education’s (DepEd) “chalk allowance” is P2.9 billion, which is roughly about P0.50 per student in a day.
To increase every teachers supplies allowance would need an additional of P5.4 billion pesos, Recto added.
Senator Recto is confident that the bill would be approved as a “separate measure” or it can be “incorporated into the national budget.”
“The Senate has a good record in providing additional funds for chalk allowance. ‘Yung mga dating Finance Committee Chairman tulad ni Senators Chiz Escudero at Loren Legarda, sinuportahan ang paulit-ulit kong panukala dito,” he said.
In addition, senators in 18th congress has also filed bills to increase teachers’ salaries and chalk allowance.