BY MERLINA HERNANDO-MALIPOT
Amid the clamor of teachers for additional cash to be used for Internet consumption, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said that there is still “no basis” to provide an allowance for such purpose.
Due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, DepEd will implement Blended/Distance Learning this School Year (SY) 2020-2021. In this set-up, teachers need to perform their tasks remotely – via online using the Internet, sending text messages, or making calls.
For online learning, teachers are also expected to hold classes using the Internet. With additional costs for using technology, teachers have been requesting for a separate allowance from DepEd.
While DepEd also recognizes the need to provide additional cash for this purpose, DepEd Spokesperson and Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said that “there is no basis to give internet or load allowance for now.”
Sevilla added that DepEd is still coordinating with Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the “adjustment and policy guideline that we can use to reprogram our plan and budget to accommodate funding for this need.”
Meanwhile, Sevilla noted that DepEd has already released the Cash Allowance for eligible public school teachers.
“What we have released to teachers since June is the ‘Cash Allowance’ of R3,500 per teacher,” she explained.
Cash Allowance, formerly called “Chalk Allowance”, is usually given to public teachers before the school opening of every year.
For this year, DepEd issued guidelines where a provision specifically citing that the needs of teachers as they prepare for the implementation of the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) will be covered by the cash allowance.
As defined by DepEd, Cash Allowance shall cover the “expenses of teachers for the purchase of teaching supplies and materials, tangible or intangible, for the implementation or conduct of various modes of learning delivery.” (Merlina Hernando-Malipot)