A LAWMAKER has filed a bill seeking to give public school teachers P1,500 in monthly Internet allowance as the country’s schools start blended learning programs when they open in August.

“The annual chalk allowance for teachers will not be sufficient to provide a stable Internet connection that will last the whole school year,” ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France L. Castro said in a statement on Sunday.

“Providing public school teachers a monthly P1,500 for Internet connection would greatly help them cope with the demands of the new normal imposed by the Department of Education (DepEd) and not worry about out-of-pocket expenses,” she added.

DepEd and the Budget department must enforce the rules that will implement the measure.

The Education secretary must periodically review the allowance, which may be increased if needed.

Ms. Castro said DepEd must also fund materials, tools and gadgets needed by teachers once classes open.

“We have seen photos on social media where teachers had to stay at highways or cross mountains just to get a stable Internet connection for their webinars and online fora,” the lawmaker said.

Teachers and students should not be burdened with additional expenses under the new normal, she added.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones on June 8 said face-to-face classes would be banned until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is found.

Schools should adopt blended learning methods including online classes when schools open on Aug. 24, said. — Genshen L Espedido