In the news, The Bicameral panel approved the 2021 budget with measly teacher cash allowance – teacher solon.
This was the statement of Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro on the measly increase for teachers’ cash allowance in the approved bicameral committee report of the 2021 budget, wherein P1,000 is allotted for internet subscription of 10 months per school year, a far cry from their call of P1,500 internet connectivity per month.
“Sa panlabas, mukhang lumaki ang inilaan na cash allowance para sa masang kaguruan ngunit sa katunayan, kinumpol lamang sa iisang basket ang P5,000 cash allowance kung saan ang dati nang P3,500 cash allowance ay dinagdagan lang ng P1,000 para sa internet subscription at communication expense sa buong pampanuruang taon at P500 para sa medical allowance,” Castro said.
“Maalalang napanalunan ng mga guro ang P500 para sa medical check-up kada guro matapos nilang ikampanya ang pagpopondo sa nasabing Magna Carta for Public School Teachers benefit sa 2020 GAA.”
“Malayong-malayo ito sa ipinanawagan nating P5,000 teaching supplies allowance at P10,000 internet allowance para sa buong pampanuruang taon na pinakakailangan ngayong may blended learning. Hindi lang naman internet ang kailangan nila, kailangan din ng load para sa call at text para sa konsultahan sa magulang at kung tutuusin, sa totoong buhay ay lumalagpas pa sa 10 buwan ang aktwal na trabaho ng isang guro,” Castro added.
“At a time that internet and other communication means are much needed to cope with the demands of blended learning, a miniscule amount was only given for teachers. This P1,000 internet subscription allowance for next year is way lower than Department of Education’s allowance for the reimbursement of communication expenses from March 16 to end of 2020 amounting to P3,000, and way lower than our proposal which is P10,000 good for the entire school year,” the progressive solon added.
The lawmaker cited that a teacher will generally spend P300 to P500 weekly expense for internet and communication based from consultations with teachers and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT). The measly cash allowance leaves teachers no choice but to spend out of their own purses the expenses for teaching amid the challenges faced in a time of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Samantalang namamayagpag ang P19.1 bilyong badyet ng NTF-ELCAC na walang ibang ginawa kundi manakot, mandahas at mang red-tag o mangbintang batay sa welang pruwebang tsismis, heto’t kapos na kapos ang sektor ng edukasyon sa sapat na budget kung saan nagtamo pa ang DepEd ng P11.6 bilyong kaltas sa budget mula sa 2020 GAA sa niratipikahang bicameral 2021 budget,” Castro stressed.
“The 2021 national budget of the Duterte administration only proves that this government has absolutely no appreciation and care for teachers and the education sector as it remains its skewed priorities amid the worsening crisis in our health system, economy and education,” Castro ended.
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