Teachers’ allowance should come from ‘legit’ sources: Sec. Briones

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said sources of teachers allowance should be legitimate.

Acknowledging the role of Local Government Units (LGUs) as allies of DepEd in special programs and projects, Briones said she is not against LGUs giving additional compensation to public school teachers because it is their prerogative.

“But these additional financial compensation should be from legitimate sources such as the General Fund,” Briones said.

“Kung magbigay sila from the SEF because siguro walang allocation sa kanila na General Fund,naubusan sila ng pera or whatever. Ang medyo masaklap yung nang dodoble,kumukuha pa sa General Fund kumukuha pa sa SEF, this is in Metro Manila,” the Education chief added.

As a practice, most LGUs source teachers’ allowance from the Special Education Fund (SEF).

“The law is very clear as to what it should be spent for, such as school improvements, textbooks, educational programs and the like,” Briones said.

Section 4 of the revised Joint Circular enumerates the expenditure items that are chargeable against the SEF, such as payment of allowances of locally-hired teachers in public schools identified by DepEd to have teacher shortages.

Although payment of allowances of nationally-hired teachers is not included, LGUs are not prohibited from granting such. These additional allowances may be sourced from the LGUs’ regular budget or General Fund, subject to existing budgeting rules and regulations.

The DepEd, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently issued Joint Circular (JC) No. 1, series of 2017, on the Revised Guidelines on the Use of the Special Education Fund (SEF). This is to update the guidelines and policies on the use and purpose of the SEF as provided under Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991.

Briones said that as of today, public school teachers are well-compensated which is far from the old notion that teachers are underpaid.

Teacher 1 receives a monthly compensation of up to P24,000, including benefits.

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