MANILA, Philippines - Public school teachers nationwide commended Saturday the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) after the two agencies announced that their clothing allowance will be increased beginning this year.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) considered the increase in clothing allowance, as "another victory for teachers nationwide" while the Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) said that although it is a small amount-an additional P1,000-"it is a great help as well to their teachers."
The DepEd said the clothing allowance will be increased to P5,000 from P4,000 in the previous years as stated in RA 10155 or the General Appropriations Act of 2012 signed by President Benigno Aquino III on December 15. "The additional allowance is in response to the requests of different groups of teachers and staff last year," it added.
According to ACT Secretary General France Castro, the group campaigned for the 10-Point Demand for Greater Budget for Education which included the demand to increase the clothing allowance of teachers and all government employees to P6,000 per year in 2011.
"Nationwide, teachers under ACT led this campaign and after a series of mass dialogues and delegations to concerned agencies, the campaign bore fruit," Castro said. She added that ACT Party list Rep. Antonio Tinio also wrote to Education Secretary Armin Luistro about the General Appropriations Act of 2012 which states that the clothing allowance can be increased to a maximum of P5,000.
TDC spokesperson Emmalyn Policarpio, meanwhile, stated that teachers are very thankful for the increase in clothing allowance.
"Batid natin ang pangangailangan ng mga guro na laging maging kaaya-aya at maayos lalo na sa paningin ng mga mag-aaral, kaya naman napakahalaga sa amin ang maayos na pananamit (We know the needs of teachers to always be pleasant and well especially in the eyes of students, so proper clothing is very important to us)," stated Policarpio, who is also a teacher in Gen. T. De Leon Elementary School in Valenzuela City.
She said while the increase is only a small amount, "ipinagpapasalamat pa rin namin sapagkat nauunawaan ng ating kagawaran ang aming pangangailangan (we are still thankful because the department understands our needs)."
Policarpio also stressed that without the increase, it will be more difficult for teachers to have proper clothing with their meager wages.
Castro and Policarpio both agreed that providing incentives to teachers by the government will help uplift the quality of education in the country.
"Sapagkat kung ang ating mga guro ay masaya at sila ay magiging inspirado sa kanilang pagtuturo at natitiyak naming magiging mabuti ang resulta nito sa kalidad ng edukasyon at sa kinabukasan ng ating bayan (If our teachers are happy and they will be inspired by their teaching, we believe that this will result to attaining quality of education and the future of our country)," Policarpio said.
Castro added that the increase in clothing allowance "is one concrete proof that our collective actions within and without the classrooms are a potent tool so that the government will act on our specific demands."