ACT Teachers Representative France Castro filed a bill seeking P1,500 monthly internet allowance for all public school teachers.
“We demand our teachers to be 21st-century teachers, with or without a pandemic, it is high time that we give adequate support to our teachers and equip them with devices and internet connections,” Castro said in filing House Bill 560.
“The two years of blended distance learning showed us the importance of having a stable internet connection for both our teachers and students for better learning conditions amid a pandemic. With the reopening of schools for face-to-face classes, teachers nationwide continue to struggle with various tasks requiring the use of information and communications technology with a bulk of online tasks and a substantial need for digital access,” she added.
The solon lamented that the current proposed budget under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2023 still contained the measly P5000 annual cash allowance for teachers that consist of P3,500 teaching supplies allowance, P500 for the annual medical check-up of teachers, and a minute P1000 for internet or communications.
“The allotted P1000 annual communications or internet allowance is far from what our teachers need. They would still have to provide from their already scanty salaries to subscribe to internet services and tend to the demands of their duties,” she said.
“With the worsening learning crisis, teachers are trying to recover the lost two years of failed blended distance learning. Providing our teachers with a monthly allowance for internet connection and communications would give them more resources and access to materials they can use to teach the youth. It is better that we give our teachers enough resources and support in bridging the two-year gap of the blended learning crisis than neglecting and abandoning their needs and the needs of our youth,” Castro added.
The solon filed House Bill 4383 which seeks to increase the allowances of teachers for their teaching supplies to P10,000.
“Investing in the needs of our teachers by giving them just remuneration, ensuring that they will not have out-of-pocket expenses, and removing teaching overloads and non-teaching duties will be the key factors to perform better in their teaching tasks and provide the youth access to quality education,” Castro said.