MANILA – A House lawmaker has filed a bill that seeks to provide public school teachers with a monthly internet allowance as they are expected to incur higher communication expenses with the shift to distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
House Bill 7034 aims to provide public school teachers with a monthly internet allowance amounting to P1,500, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said Sunday.
“With the already measly salaries of public school teachers barely able to provide for their personal needs and that of their families, government must provide the necessary tools and gadgets to be able to perform their duties in the proposed new modes of teaching,” Castro said in a statement.
Castro noted that the one-time “chalk allowance” for teachers – which amounts to P3,500 – is insufficient to “provide a stable [internet] connection that will last a whole school year.”
“Providing public school teachers a monthly P1,500 for internet connection would greatly help them cope with the demands of the ‘new normal’ imposed by the Department of Education,” said Castro, who earlier dared Education Secretary Leonor Briones to demonstrate distance learning in remote areas.
“The DepEd must ensure that they also provide adequate funding for materials, tools and gadgets for teachers before imposing policies and guidelines as they push for the start of the new school year despite the pandemic,” she added.
Sen. Grace Poe earlier said government needed to provide internet allowance for teachers to help them shift to online learning during the pandemic.
In-person classes remain suspended to avoid exposing students, teachers and other school personnel to the risk of contracting the new coronavirus, which has infected over 35,000 the country.
The DepEd has said it was reviewing its budget to see if it could accommodate the plea of teachers for internet allowance.
Earlier this month, teachers from Maco, Davao de Oro were photographed while setting up a tent at the side of the road to get connection so they could participate in a webinar.