TEACHER'S ALLOWANCE. Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte (left), along with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, files House Bill No. 3543 to institutionalize the grant of PHP2,000 'Teaching Supplies Allowance' to public school teachers in the basic education level. The lawmakers said their proposed tax-exempt PHP2,000 cash allowance considers the rising prices of commodities, including teaching aids and other related materials. (PNA file photo)

DAVAO CITY – First Congressional District Rep. Paolo "Pulong" Z. Duterte has proposed the grant of a tax-exempt PHP2,000 allowance each per month within the school year to public school teachers to cover expenses for supplies and materials.

“Public school teachers will have to cope with even more expenses to carry out their responsibilities once full face-to-face classes are implemented. Our proposal will help ease these financial woes,” Duterte said in a statement Tuesday.

Duterte, along with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, filed House Bill No. 3543 to institutionalize the grant of the PHP2,000 “Teaching Supplies Allowance” which will cover public school teachers in the basic education sector.

“Teachers serve as the nation’s modern-day heroes—tirelessly providing at par education to the youth and honing them to become valuable members of the society,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement.

Duterte and Yap said their proposed PHP2,000 cash allowance takes into account the rising prices of commodities, including teaching aids and other related materials. The bill states that the allowance “shall be exempt from income tax.”

Under the measure, the cash allowance covers the purchase of both “tangible and intangible” teaching supplies and materials for the various learning delivery modalities “within the school year.”

While teaching is a profession that serves as a foundation of all other professions, the lawmakers argued that the salaries that educators receive, particularly public school teachers, are not commensurate to the sacrifices they make in helping shape the future of the country’s youth.

Adding to the rigors of teaching, they said, are expenses for supplies and materials that public school teachers frequently buy using their own money.

Under the bill, the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) is mandated to “conduct a periodic review of the teaching supplies allowance, taking into account the current prices of teaching supplies and materials, and, if warranted, recommend the necessary increase in the amount of the allowance.”

Currently, the grant of the cash allowance to augment the teaching expenses of public school teachers, formerly known as the “chalk allowance,” is given based on the provisions indicated in the national budget.

Under the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the cash allowance was PHP3,500 per school year. This was later increased to PHP5,000 annually under the GAAs for the fiscal years 2021 and 2022. (PNA)