Drilon wants teachers' supplies allowance increased to P20,000

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon suggested the idea to hike the teachers' supplies allowance to P20,000.

During the plenary session for Senate Bill No. 1092 which aimed to increase the supplies allowance of teachers to P5,000 from P3,500, Drilon questioned Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., the author of the bill on why not further increase it to P20,000.

Drilon wants teachers' supplies allowance increased to P20,000

"Will you accept an amendment to increase it to P20,000?" Drilon asked Revilla.

"This is about the needs of the teachers," Drilon added.

Revilla explained that as much he wants to give the teachers more, he needs to come up with a "realistic" figure that will not be vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte due to budget restraints.

He replied, "We have to be realistic. Kung puwede lang po gawin nating P10,000 [increase] pero it will cost a lot," he said.

"Kung makakahanap po tayo ng pondo for this, I am very much willing to accept," Revilla added.

However, Drilon argued that they can afford the P20,000 annual allowance to all 876,000 teachers and push for a bigger budget for teachers because it should be considered a "priority." He further compared it to the huge allocation given to the President's confidential and intelligence fund.

"Are we saying we cannot fund P17 billion? Are the President's confidential and intelligence fund a priority?" Drilon said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he would support any move to reduce the President's intelligence budget to fund the allowances of teachers. But he also said it's better to come up with a number that will not be rejected by the President and will leave the teachers with no increase at all.

"Better we give them something than nothing," Recto said.

"Malaki ang social at economic return nito (The social and economic return of this is big). They are responsible for what our children learn," he said.

Drilon argued the bill should mandate the executive branch to include the teachers' allowance for supplies in the annual budget at a fixed price.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson agreed with Drilon, saying the amount of teachers' allowances "cannot be vague."

"Hindi puwedeng subject to the availability of funds kasi hindi talaga mapopondohan," he said.

The senators agreed to postpone further deliberations on the bill until they get more information from the Department of Education next week.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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  1. How about the private school teacher? I know that it is the under private company. But there are small private schools that cannot afford a salary hike for the their teachers and other employees. I sense we need to consider to review something if there any possibility that it can be subsidized by the government.

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