DepEd says reviewing budget over plea of teachers for internet access allowance

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2020 01:28 PM

Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) hold a protest in front of the Department of Education (DepEd) headquarters in Pasig City on June 09, 2020. The groups raised concern on the accessibility of digital learning tools to both teachers and students with DepEd’s shift to online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) said Tuesday it was reviewing its budget to see if it could accommodate the plea of teachers for internet access allowance as they are expected to incur higher communication expenses with the shift to blended learning.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition had asked DepEd to provide a P1,000 monthly internet access allowance to teachers in light of the expected additional communication expenses for blended learning while physical classes would not be allowed without a COVID-19 vaccine.

The education department is willing to subsidize the communication expenses of teachers if it could find enough funds for it, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said.

"Tinitingnan mabuti 'yan ng DepEd dun sa kaniyang pagre-review ng allocation ng budget," Malaluan said in a virtual press briefing.

(That is part of the DepEd's budget allocation review.)

"Kung may mga portions tayo na maibibigay suporta then we will do that dahil kinikilala namin na 'yan ay malaking gastusin ngayon in the delivery modalities na distance learning or blended learning," he added.

(If there is a portion that we could give as support then we will do that because we recognize that there are additional expenses for distance learning or blended learning.)

DepEd earlier released a P3,500 cash allowance to teachers to cover “any teaching-related expenses” for school year 2020-2021.

For the upcoming school year, DepEd will employ a blended learning system which is a combination of print modules, online instruction, and radio and television lessons.