Gordon welcomes enactment of measure providing better support for 15M solo parents in PH
Senator Richard J. Gordon expressed elation for over 15 million solo parents in the country that will be enjoying additional privileges and additional government support as an enabling bill lapsed into law.
Gordon, the primary author of Republic Act 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, said the new law will help empower the many families that may be going through a rough patch in their lives.
"We are thankful that a timely law like this has been passed as it shows the liberality and humanity that our society has become over the years," said Gordon.
“Kami ay umaasa na ang batas na ito ay makatutulong sa solo parents at kanilang mga anak namagkaroon ng kaunting ayuda at benepisyong hatid ng estado,” he added.
According to recently-published study by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 15 million solo parents, 95% or more or about 14 million of whom are women.
The law strengthens the two-decade old RA 8972, which added additional benefits to solo parents and their families and expanded the scope of applicability of the benefits due them.
Solo parents are now entitled to a 10% discount plus value-added tax exemption for baby’s milk, food, micronutrient supplements, medicine, and other medical supplements for parents earning less than Php 250,000 yearly, and purchased in the child’s first six years from birth.
If determined to be under the poverty threshold, they shall be given Php 1,000 as additional financial assistance, on top of a comprehensive package of social protection packages such as livelihood assistance, counseling, legal services, and the like.
“We want to make the solo parents feel that the government is behind them and shall not be shortchanged in terms of the provision of services rendered,” remarked Gordon.
“They also will not be discriminated by their employers, including an access to the work at home set-up, and shall enjoy parental leave and other benefits,” he continued.
Solo parents are defined as females who have given birth as a result of rape; parents left solo or alone due to circumstances such as incarceration, physical and mental incapacity, legal separation and abandonment.
Also included are any other person who bears sole parental responsibility over a child or children, including a foster parent duly recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The bicameral conference committee also expanded the definition of solo parents to spouses of low-skill overseas Filipino workers away from the country from an uninterrupted period of time.