By Billy Begas
Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte has filed various measures seeking to provide scholarships and additional allowances to public school educators.
Duterte filed House Bill (HB) 4697 seeking to further professionalize the ranks of public school teachers by offering them scholarships for their graduate and post-graduate studies.
To be eligible for the scholarship, the applicant should be on active duty for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to the date of application for the grant
The measure also provides educational cash assistance to children of public school teachers who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
“The role of teachers goes beyond the four walls of the classroom and their work schedule. Outside of their lesson plans, they instill moral and civic values to the Filipino youth. They invest their knowledge, time and energy in molding our youth. It is high time for the State to do the same for our educators, who are considered among the pillars of our society,” the explanatory note of the measure read.
Aside from Duterte, other authors of HB 4697 are Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS party-list Representatives Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano.
The four lawmakers, along with Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo also filed the proposed Teachers for the Barrios Act (HB 456).
The measure seeks to amend the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers to include public school teachers assigned to far-flung communities in the grant of the hardship allowance.
The hardship allowance shall be equivalent to double the total expenses that the teacher will incur every month in additional public transportation from the nearest capital town or urban center where he or she is assigned.
In the event that the teacher assigned to a far-flung barrio would need to stay in a temporary housing facility, the head of the barangay in that area is mandated to secure suitable and safe housing for the teacher, according to the bill.
Duterte and Rep. Eric also filed HB 3542 seeking to provide internet data allowance to both public and private school teachers in the basic education sector during times of public health emergencies, calamities, and other occurrences that would result in the prolonged closure of schools and other learning institutions.
The Department of Education (DepEd), with the help of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), shall determine the needed amount of broadband data for the implementation of blended or distance learning modes.
Duterte and Rep. Eric also filed HB 3543 which will grant a tax-free P2,000 teaching supplies allowance per month to public school teachers in the basic education sector.