Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Thursday assured public elementary and high school teachers nationwide that the Department of Education (DepEd) is "fast-tracking all the documents needed" to avoid further delay in the release of clothing allowance and the additional increase for this coming school year.
"We are fast-tracking all the docu¬ments needed so that we're able to re¬lease the increment before the school opening," Luistro said in an official statement.
Earlier, the Teachers' Dignity Co¬alition (TDC) called the attention of the DepEd following reports on the delay of the teachers' clothing and uniform allowance. According to the group, "teachers from all over the country are complaining about the said delay."
TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas said the group's Facebook page and email "are bombarded by reports from teachers in the provinces and even from Metro Manila."
Basas, who is also a Caloocan City teacher, said that in some divisions or cities some schools have received the allowance while others have not such as in Caloocan and Quezon City. "Still, some schools have released the full amount of R5,000 while others have only released R4,000," he added.
Luistro said that based on reports from the DepEd Budget Office, the R4,000 allowance per teacher is the amount downloaded directly to the implementing units such as divisions and schools.
"This is the first time we're giving a R1,000 increase but it's coming from a different source of fund from the national budget so it will require a separate Spe¬cial Allotment Release Order (SARO) from the Department of Budget and Management," he explained.
The DepEd chief added that divisions and schools that were able to release the full amount of R5,000 already "most probably charged the ad¬ditional R1,000.00 to their savings."
However, TDC said that while the group is aware of that due to some technicalities and the bu¬reaucratic process, the release of these kinds of allowance may suffer de¬lays, "however, we want to call the attention of the DepEd on the reports that some school officials are asking clearance re¬quirement from teachers before the release of their allowance which actually theirs."
TDC also reiterated that "there is no requirement needed for the release of clothing and uniform allowance as long as the teacher is qualified under the DBM Budget Circular 2012-1 re¬leased last February 23 and effective immediately."
The clothing and uniform allow¬ance is an annual incentive for all the civilian government employees in the amount of R4,000 but this year the amount was increased to R5,000 and was given an allocation under the gen¬eral appropriations act.