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Public School Teachers To Receive Teaching Supplies Allowance Increase In New School Year

Teachers at Esteban Abada Elementary School, Quezon City, during the Culmination of the 2023 Pambansang Buwan at Araw ng Pagbasa and Book Launch of Isang Kaibigan Program. Photo by: Alezandro Bravo – Department of Education Facebook page.

Public school teachers welcomed the passage of the “Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act” or Republic Act No. 11997, a law that increases the allowance for teaching supplies of public school teachers.

The ACT Teachers Partylist and educators nationwide celebrated their success after 13 years of lobbying and campaigning for the allowance increase.

Magmula pa noong 2011 ay isinulong na ang mga panukalang batas na magbibigay at magtataas ng teaching supplies allowance sa ating mga pampublikong guro,” stated Vladimer Quetua, ACT Chairperson.

(Since 2011, we have been pushing for legislation to increase the teaching supplies allowance for our public teachers.)

Here is a detailed overview of how the “Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act” became law after 13 years:

  • 15th Congress (February 2011): It was first filed by Rep. Tinio Antonio as House Bill (HB) 4134, An Act Providing for a Teaching Supplies Allowance for Public School Teachers and Appropriating Funds Therefore. It asked for a PhP700 to PhP1000 annual allowance. However, it was not tabled in the committee.
  • 16th Congress (July 2013): HB 251 aimed for a PhP1000 to PhP2000 chalk allowance.
  • 17th Congress (July 2016): HB 474 was referred to stakeholders targeting a PhP1500–PhP5000 increase in allowance.
  • 18th Congress (2019): HB 222 proposed an allowance hike from PhP2500 to PhP5000, but no action was declared in the committee.
  • 19th Congress (2022): HB 9682 passed in Congress in December 2023, providing PhP7,500 for SY 2024-2025 and PhP10,000 for SY 2025-2026 onwards. The Senate passed a similar bill, SB 1964, in May 2023, granting only PhP5,000 for SY 2024–2025. The reconciled bill was sent to the President on May 3, 2024, and the ceremonial signing into law took place on June 3 at the Malacañang Palace.

RA 11997 will be implemented for the school year 2024-2025, with a PhP5,000 starting allowance.

By school year 2025-2026, the allowance will increase to PhP10,000 and is set to remain at that level for the succeeding years.

The teaching supplies allowance will not be subject to tax, allowing teachers to benefit fully from the increased amount.

According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the passage of the bill is an achievement and a testament to the collective action of teachers and the representatives in Congress.

Teachers’ sentiments

The new law brought ease to teachers like Judith Custodio, a public-school Special Needs Education (SNED) teacher at Eusebio Santos Elementary School in Taguig City.

Custodio affirmed to Good News Pilipinas that it’s a “big help” for teachers like her to have an additional budget to purchase school materials, primarily laptops or printers that are most needed to produce interactive worksheets recommended for their learners with special needs.

Teachers have been concerned for a long time that their teaching materials came from their personal funds and conflicted with their family budget needs amid rising commodities.

Dati nanghihingi kami sa parents ng bond paper at ink sa school, pero kung walang supply ng ink, sariling budget ng teacher galing,” Custodio, a teacher for 14 years, explained. “Kung masira pa ang laptop at printer yan ang malaking problema namin.”

(We used to ask parents for bond paper and ink at school, but if there is no supply, it comes out of our own budget. If the laptop or printer breaks, that’s a big problem for us.)

This was also the concern of Bridgette Parallag, a public elementary school teacher for six years.

Mabigat (It’s a huge burden), to keep up with the use of technology, even the small monitor in the classroom is not enough. It [allowance] could help us to purchase a big monitor to help with the visuals of the students,” shared Parallag to Good News Pilipinas.

Some teachers like Reselyn Quintero see the law as a positive direction for the upcoming Brigada Eskwela 2024, but point out that the annual issuance of allowance is “not enough” to sustain the material needs for the entire academic year.

Mas mainam kung ito [allowance for teaching material] ay matatanggap ng buwanan para mas higit pa na ma-bu-budget ang kakulangan sa classroom,” Quintero suggested.

(It would be better if this allowance was given monthly to better manage classroom material shortages.)

ACT has also reiterated the need for salary adjustments, proposing an entry-level pay of PhP50,000 for teachers, PhP33,000 for Salary Grade 1 (SG1) employees, SG16 for Instructor 1 in state universities and colleges, and a national minimum wage of PhP33,000 for all workers.

The Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act brings hope for teachers to have more avenues for a more conducive learning environment, ultimately benefiting students across the country.

Public school teachers in the Philippines are known to go the extra mile to help their students, even providing free school supplies and feeding hungry school children. When the pandemic posed an even greater challenge to the education sector, Philippine stamps honored the teachers’ efforts while cities like Manila provided tablets, laptops, and WiFi for both teachers and students.

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Stella Mae F. Marcos
Stella Mae F. Marcos
Stella is an Iska from PUP Manila. Writing was a source of solace and an avenue to convey her emotions and experiences. As she dived into the journalism program, she discovered that writing is an outlet that amplifies the voices and stories of people who matter in society. During her downtime, she enjoys being alone with her cats, immersing herself in fictional books, and binge-watching series.

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