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Senator Loren Legarda committed to increase the budget for public school teachers in their pursuit for further studies, such as Masters and Doctorate degrees, as well as for their chalk allowance for next year.

“It is only proper that we acknowledge the invaluable service of our teachers to the society. They act as second parents who instill not just knowledge and wisdom, but also the proper values and morals of being a good citizen. We honor today these modern heroes – our teachers, professors, and instructors – who have sacrificed so much in building our nation and our people,” Legarda said.

The veteran legislator, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that they have allocated additional funds for the benefit of teachers under the proposed 2018 national budget.

The Senate has allocated additional 10 million pesos in capital outlay for each of the country’s State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), to fund, among others, trainings, seminars and scholarship programs for the Masters and Doctorate degrees of teachers.

“Our students and our country stand to benefit from the academic pursuits of our teaching personnel. We should be supportive of this because as they enrich themselves, they have more to impart and give back to the society,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

The lady senator added that the Senate has also increased teachers’ chalk allowance–intended for the purchase of classroom supplies like chalk, markers, paper, erasers and other materials–to P3,500 for 2018. In 2015, chalk allowance increased from P1,000 to P1,500, then to P2,500 under the 2017 national budget.

“The provision of chalk allowance to our teachers is also one issue that we should address in our education system. If government agencies could easily provide office equipment to their staff, we should do the same for our teachers who only want the best for their students. We also hope that this allowance would be given to our teachers before the start of the school year,” she stressed.

Legarda said that more support for our teachers is in the horizon. She has filed Senate Bill No. 36, or the Integrated Magna Carta for Teachers and Non-teaching Personnel, which seeks to promote and advance the social, economic, and professional status of teachers and non-teaching personnel commensurate to their invaluable role in national development.

SBN 36 seeks to attract more teachers and non-teaching personnel of competent and efficient skills by providing, among others, an annual salary increase to mitigate the effects of inflation, security payment of their salaries on a monthly basis regardless of semestral or summer vacations, and gratuity benefit for those who choose to retire before reaching the compulsory age of 60 and have rendered at least two years of service.

“We should enhance the image of teaching as an esteemed vocation so that more and more people recognize the value and impact of our teachers to our children and to the society. We should invest in this profession in order to build our education system as a bastion of knowledge and hope for our future generations,” Legarda concluded.

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