DepEd: No basis to give teachers Internet or load allowance for now

Photo: Facebook/DepEd Philippines

According to Department of Education (DepEd) Spokesperson and Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla, there is no basis for teachers to receive Internet or load allowance for now.

Educators have been crying for financial support amid the country’s transition to flexible learning for the upcoming school year, which will require them to deliver education remotely and virtually, with the use of gadgets such as laptops, tablets, and/or smartphones.

Sevilla shared that the education bureau is in talks with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in order to look into the possible funding to provide teachers with monetary assistance, through “adjustment and policy guidelines”. She also noted that DepEd has already been allotting as much as P3,500 worth of cash allowance, formerly referred to as “Chalk Allowance”, for eligible public school teachers since June 2020.

DepEd has also created a provision to cover the expenses for public school teachers’ supplies to help them adjust to blended learning, with a budget allocation of P3.185 billion. The teacher must have at least one teaching load to qualify for the allowance. Permanent and provisional teachers in public schools and learning centers are also eligible for the cash allowance, provided they have been in service at DepEd since May 31, 2020, and have been assigned at least one teaching load for school year 2020-2021.

Classes were earlier disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte approved DepEd’s proposal to do limited face-to-face classes starting in January in areas that are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or have low cases of coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Under blended learning, DepEd will be adopting the combined use of TV, radio, and the internet as modes of instruction while face-to-face classes will be largely prohibited. Classes are set to formally open on August 24.

During a COVID-19 task force meeting, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said that public schools in as many as 345 areas have already conducted dry runs in preparation for the formal start of the 2020 to 2021 school year.