House bill seeks internet allowance for public school teachers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28) — A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to provide public school teachers with a ₱1,500 monthly internet allowance to help them meet the demands of their job under the “new normal.”

ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, who authored House bill 7034, said the chalk allowance, or the annual funds for classroom supplies, is not enough to provide a stable internet connection to educators, who now have to cope with new modes of teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education earlier approved a blended learning program, which is set to begin when classes open in August. This includes distance learning, which will require gadgets and internet connection for online interaction.

The solon added that with the “already measly salaries of public school teachers,” the government cannot expect them to provide necessary tools needed to perform their duties.

Photos of teachers having to climb mountains or staying at highways to find strong internet signal and join DepEd webinars have gone viral online. This has raised concerns that the distance or online learning scheme would put many students and teachers, especially those in poor communities, at a disadvantage.

"We urge the House leadership to swiftly enact this measure into law as the target date of the Department of Education nears and no teacher or student shall be burdened by education just because they do not have a stable internet connection," Castro said.