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Dela Rosa backs supplies allowance for public school teachers
SENATOR Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa threw his full support for the passage of a measure that would reduce the need for teachers to bear the cost of teaching supplies while providing quality education to their students.
Dela Rosa commended Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. for sponsoring Senate Bill (SB) No. 1964, or the “Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act,” during his co-sponsorship speech on the said proposed bill earlier this week.
Under the Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act, each public school teacher would be secured with P7,500 pesos for School Year 2023-2024; and P10,000 pesos for the school year 2024-2025, and thereafter, as the measure also highlights that its value would be adjusted every three years to respond to the changing prices of teaching supplies.
The said amount shall be charged from the appropriations of the Department of Education (DepEd) under the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
In the Philippines, a public school teacher currently receives only P5,000 worth of teaching supplies allowance which is equivalent to just P25 per day. Consequently, some teachers would have to dip into their savings to deliver and perform their classroom duties.
While Dela Rosa hailed the “selflessness and ingenuity of our educators,” the senator reiterated that this is too much for them to afford.
“Sa tingin ko, matagal nang tinitiis ng ating mga guro ang pag-iisip na ‘kaya naman, napagkakasya naman. Wala na palang chalk dito sa classroom ko, bibili na lang ako. Wala na palang pang-Internet ang aking estudyante, bibigyan ko na lang’; At iba pang mga pangangailangan na sa tingin natin ay ‘maliit na bagay,’” Dela Rosa said.
The former top cop also related the same concern of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), whose daily subsistence allowance used to be only equivalent to P150.
“Of course, as a former soldier and police officer myself, I know that this is not impossible. But if I were (an ordinary people), I would not be able to imagine how a meager P150-peso allowance can account for an entire day. How such an amount can account for the survival of those responsible for securing the safety of our country in general and our communities in particular. And yet, we have made it work, Mr. President. Lagi namang napagkakasya,” Dela Rosa said.
“At some point, Mr. President, the ‘napagkakasya naman’ mentality prevents us from providing the best services, especially when the truth of the matter is, those responsible for educating our children and youth deserve nothing but the very best from us,” he added.
The Mindanaoan senator further appealed to the government to put an end to this crisis and for the Senate to offer what it can for our teachers.
“Hindi na natin maaaring pilitin ang ating mga gurong pagkasyahin ang kung ano man ang meron sa kanila. Let us allow our teachers to do what they do best, which is to teach, to ignite the fire of knowledge in our children, and to keep it burning,” Dela Rosa stressed.
Dela Rosa also filed SB 1831, his own version of the proposed measure.