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House bill seeks to provide communications allowance to public school teachers

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

A bill has been filed at the House of Representatives to provide data and communication allowances to public school teachers to help them provide quality education through distance learning.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric G. Yap, chair of the House appropriations committee, filed House Bill 10526 as he noted that funds provided to teachers through the Bayanihan laws were “insufficient.”

“Our teachers have been incurring out of pocket expenses because the stimulus given to them could only cover a few hours of data access. This appalling reality… is immensely unacceptable in this day and age,” he said in the bill’s explanatory message.

The measure would mandate the Department of Education (DepEd), along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), to provide a data and communication allowance which will be determined by the time of execution and amount of data needed for blended learning.

Access to a website where blended learning materials are published will also be subsidized by the government, and access will be free of charge.

The Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue can also provide fiscal incentives to these providers as long as they don’t significantly affect government revenue.

According to the bill, the DepEd and DICT should also provide teachers in both public and private schools with appropriate and affordable computers or similar gadgets in order for them to effectively execute blended learning. — Russell Louis C. Ku

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