Teachers’ union wants current P5,000 allowance doubled | Inquirer News
Money originally for ‘chalk’ must be increased for ‘new normal’ expenses

Teachers’ union wants current P5,000 allowance doubled

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:36 AM August 21, 2022

A woman dusting off a globe in a classroom. STORY: Teachers’ union wants current P5,000 allowance doubled


MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, the country’s largest teachers’ union, has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to double the cash allowance received by government teachers at the start of every school year, from P5,000 to P10,000.

Ahead of Monday’s opening of classes, the ACT said on Friday that teachers deserved much more than the current amount, which is equivalent to a measly P25 per day over the 203 school days of the academic year 2022-2023.


“The P5,000 cash allowance is not enough for the needs of teachers for the whole school year,” the group’s chair, Vladimer Quetua, said in a statement.


He noted that some teachers had already spent more than P5,000 of their own money during the multisector Brigada Eskwela drive to prepare classrooms and school facilities for in-person classes, which would be fully implemented by November.

On Monday, a majority of the country’s 54,900 schools are expected to maintain a blended setup of face-to-face classes and distance learning, as fewer than half are ready to transition fully to in-person schooling, according to DepEd.


By Nov. 2, however, all schools, public and private, are required to conduct face-to-face classes five days a week, except those in areas determined by DepEd to have special circumstances and may continue the blended setup.

Queta lamented that many teachers were resorting to personal loans or paying for supplies out of their own pockets for their preparations for the opening of classes.

“Our teachers are not just buying chalk and class record [books]. They need to borrow money just so they can buy laptops, printers, and projectors, because these are needed for us teachers to do our jobs,” he said.

While DepEd may aspire to “21st century learning,” the level of government assistance teachers are receiving is “already outdated,” Queta said.


According to DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa, the P5,000 cash allowance for teachers will be released in the first week of classes.

But only public school teachers who serve from the first day up to 30 calendar days after the start of the school year will be entitled to the full allowance, the education department said.

Teachers who are hired or start their duties past the first 30 days from the opening of classes are still entitled to the cash allowance, but on a pro-rata, or proportional basis, DepEd said.

‘Chalk allowance’

Those with no teaching load or are absent without leave, on an indefinite leave of absence, on maternity or study leave, as well as those who are no longer in service by the start of the academic year, are not entitled to receive the allowance, it added.

A teacher who has been found guilty of any offense in connection with his or her work will also not receive the amount, according to DepEd.

The yearly cash grant used to be called “chalk allowance,” as it was used primarily by teachers to buy their chalk supply for the entire school year.

Over the years, the amount has consistently grown as its use expanded to include other needs and requirements in class.

From the original P700, it was increased to P1,000 in 2012 and eventually hiked to P1,500 in 2016, then to P2,500 the following year.

In 2018, the allowance grew to P3,500, and was raised to P5,000 in 2021 during the implementation of distance learning classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At present, according to DepEd, the cash allowance is intended for the purchase of teaching supplies and materials, tangible or intangible; for the conduct of various modes of learning, internet, and other communication expenses; and for their annual medical examination expenses.

No House passage

In November 2020, the Senate passed on third and final reading a bill institutionalizing the staggered increase of the cash allowance of public school teachers for the next four years. The House of Representatives, however, failed to pass its version of the bill before Congress adjourned.

Under the proposal, teachers would have received P7,500 for the academic year 2023-2024, and P10,000 for the academic year 2024-2025.

DepEd leadership at the time welcomed the bill, calling it “a timely financial boost to our brave and resourceful teachers who courageously accepted the challenge of delivering education in these difficult times.”


ACT hits DepEd’s delayed P5K allowance for teachers, calls for raise

DepEd to give teachers P5K cash allowance within first week of classes

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