Press Release
March 14, 2023

Dela Rosa: Co-Sponsorship Speech - SBN 1964
(Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act)

Mr. President, I rise to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1964, which has, as its short title, "Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act." Before anything else, I wish to commend the hardworking gentleman from Cavite, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. As he leads us in the fight for the passage of this bill into law, nais kong malaman ni Senator Revilla, Mr. President, na sa labanang ito, kakampi niya si Senator Bato.

I know, Mr. President, that this bill is for our teachers. But for a few minutes, allow me to digress. During the budget hearing of the Department of National Defense, we learned that the daily allowance of our AFP used to be one hundred fifty pesos. Itong P150 na subsistence allowance para sa ating mga sundalo ay kanila lamang ipinagkakasya, para sa agahan, tanghalian, at hapunan. Of course, as a former soldier and police officer myself, I know that this is not impossible. But if I were a lay person, I would not be able to imagine how a meager P150-peso allowance can account for an entire day. How such an amount can account for the survival of those responsible for securing the safety of our country in general, and our communities in particular. And yet, we have made it work, Mr. President. Lagi namang napagkakasya. Allow me to repeat that - we make it work; laging napagkakasya.

And this, Mr. President, is how I can transition to this bill, "Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act." Sa tingin ko, Mr. President, matagal nang tiniis ng ating mga guro ang pag-iisip na "kaya naman, napagkakasya naman." Wala na palang chalk dito sa classroom ko. Wala na palang pang-internet ang aking estudyante. At iba pang mga pangangailangan na sa tingin natin ay "maliit na bagay," ngunit para sa ating mga guro, mabigat na ang mga gastusing ito, kung huhugutin pa nila sa kanilang mga bulsa. At some point, Mr. President, the "napagkakasya naman" mentality prevents us from providing the best services, especially when the truth of the matter is, those responsible for educating our children and youth deserve nothing but the very best from us.

Kailangan ng ating mga guro ng kabalikat sa kanilang pagtuturo. Under this proposed measure, we shall be able to provide them with exactly that - we shall be giving P7,500 pesos per teacher for School Year 2023-2024; And for school year 2024-2025, and thereafter, P10,000 pesos per teacher for School year.

Hindi na nating maaaring pilitin ang ating mga gurong pagkasyahin ang kung ano man ang meron sa kanila. Let us allow our teachers to do what they do best, which is to teach, to ignite the fire of knowledge in our children, and to keep it burning. As for us, members of this Senate, we shall offer what we can to do the rest.

Author Joyce Meyer said: "Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges." Let us take care of the chalk, Mr. President, and their other needs, so that our beloved teachers can simply keep on changing lives. Maraming salamat po.

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