THE Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to follow through on Malacañang’s recent pronouncement that the agency will initiate a dialogue with the group regarding teachers’ call for P1,500 monthly internet allowance.
The group lamented that their requests for dialogue on the matter have not been granted, but hoped that the statement made by Palace spox Harry Roque signals a ‘change of heart’ for DepEd, especially in light of reports that the DepEd 349 sim has expired.
“In mid-February, we submitted a petition to Malacañang for Php1,500 monthly internet allowance, signed by over 15,000 public school teachers. Soon after, we received correspondence that our petition was forwarded to DepEd”, ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.
He added that ACT has only so far received two responses from the agency regarding their demand for internet allowance, both of which.
One was DepEd’s response after Malacañang forwarded our petition, in which the agency merely provided a link to Usec. Sevilla’s facebook post regarding the old Php5,000 cash allowance that teachers receive yearly and “will not suffice to cover the costly demands of distance learning.
The second one was from Usec. Revsee Escobedo who, in early May, responded to ACT’s February submission of a position paper on the current educational situation under distance learning. In responding to ACT’s internet allowance call, Escobedo highlighted the Php5,000 cash allowance, the Php300 monthly reimbursement in 2020, and the Bayanihan 2 provision for internet load for DepEd personnel—with the last translating to the now defunct DepEd 349 plan.
ACT likewise submitted to both the House of Representatives and the Senate not only their growing petition for Php1,500 monthly internet allowance, but also the budgetary requirements for such as Congress deliberates on the 2022 General Expenditure Bill (GAB).
The group estimates that P12.54-billion will be needed to provide 835,944 public school teachers with P1,500 internet allowance for 10 months. The same has been included in the proposed amendments of the ACT Teachers Partylist to the 2022 GAB.