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FILED AND RE-FILED IN THE 18TH CONGRESS

LIST: Bills to give more benefits, discounts, less class hours for teachers

/ 12:50 PM August 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — In the last few days, proposals of a no-homework policy have sparked conversations on teachers’ welfare amid the heavy workload they have under the prevailing education system.

READ: No-homework bills filed | Teachers should be spared of excessive reports, homework, too’ – solon | Fix education system before banning homework – Makabayan solon

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But aside from educators’ long clamor for a decent pay hike, over 80 bills in the House of Representatives alone have been filed and re-filed in the 18th Congress to support public and private teachers in the country.

These bills propose various perks for teachers like 14th-month pay; discount privileges; establishment of a hospital solely for teachers and their dependents; housing, loan and scholarship programs; medical, teaching supplies and “hardship” allowances; weekends as days of rest policy; and limiting of class hours to six a day.

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Here’s a rundown of some of the filed proposed laws that seek to reward teachers for their devotion to work and sacrifices:

  1. House Bill (HB) No. 27 provides incentives to public school teachers who are assigned outside of their towns and provinces.
  2. HB 87 proposes a 20 percent discount to educators in public transportation, health services, hotels and restaurants, recreational facilities like cinemas and theaters, as well as gyms.
  3. HB 116 seeks to establish a special hospital for teachers called the Philippine Teachers’ Hospital to be located in the National Capital Region.
  4. HB 222 wants to increase teaching supplies allowance from the current P1,500 to P5,000 per year.
  5. HB 613 seeks to establish a comprehensive housing program for teachers of the Department of Education with permanent status.
  6. HB 755 requires all private and public schools to provide faculty rooms for teachers.
  7. HB 1015 authorizes government-owned banks to open a special loan window that would grant low-interest loans to public school teachers.
  8. HB 1024 increases the pension of retired private and public teachers by P3,000 monthly.
  9. HB 1090 provides scholarship grants to public school teachers and their children.
  10. HB 1767 grants a special hardship allowance to public school teachers, school heads and administrators. The amount, which would be computed based on a formula, should not exceed 25 percent of their annual basic pay.
  11. HB 2308 exempts public and private school teachers from paying terminal fees for flights.
  12. HB 3271 provides a 14th-month pay to public school teachers equivalent to the 13th-month pay currently given to them.
  13. HB 3657 ensures that weekends be rest days for public and private teachers by banning meetings, conferences, training, and similar activities on Saturdays and Sundays.
  14. HB 3815 limits the class hours of public school teachers to six hours per day.

Majority of the bills in the list were refiled, meaning the measures have been proposed by lawmakers in previous Congresses but failed to be institutionalized into laws. Meanwhile, HB Nos. 116, 755, 1015, 1024, and 2308 were newly introduced proposals in the 18th Congress.

These bills still need to undergo deliberations at the committee and plenary level before the House could approve them. The Senate should do the same before the two chambers could ratify the measures and send them to President Rodrigo Duterte for enactment into law. /kga

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