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  • Solo Parents To Receive Monthly Cash Subsidy, Discounts As Senate Approves Welfare Bill

    Government wants solo parents to know and feel they are not alone.
    by Angela Baylon . Published Dec 15, 2021
Solo Parents To Receive Monthly Cash Subsidy, Discounts As Senate Approves Welfare Bill
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  • The Senate has finally approved on third and final reading a bill that will strengthen social protection for single mothers and fathers.

    On December 13, 2021, Senators voted in favor of Senate Bill 1411, which will amend the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000. The bill specifically aims to give additional benefits to solo parents and expand its coverage.

    Who are considered solo parents? 

    If enacted to law, the amended Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 will also cover the following:

    • The spouse of a low- or semi-skilled overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who has continuously worked abroad for 12 months or more
    • Foster parents recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
    • Legal guardians identified by court and relatives who have the sole responsibility for caring for a child

    Additional benefits for solo parents

    Qualified solo parents will be entitled to receive the following benefits from the government:

    1. Php1,000 monthly cash assistance
    2. 20% discount on goods and services in private establishments, costs of child care, and tuition fees for their children
    3. Automatic PhilHealth coverage, with premium shouldered by the government
    4. Additional seven-day parental leave with pay for both private and government employees. The bill also shortens the requirement for rendered service to avail parental leave from one year to six months.
    5. A comprehensive package of benefits and services, including livelihood opportunities, legal assistance, counseling, and stress debriefing. 
    6. Priority privilege for government housing projects and re-entering the workforce. Their children will also be prioritized in apprenticeship and scholarship programs under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), but “subject to eligibility and qualifications.”

    A solo parent herself, Senator Risa Hontiveros is optimistic the bill will boost the morale of single parents in the country. Among the principal authors of the bill, Hontiveros says Senate Bill 1411 will serve as a reminder to solo parents that they are not alone.

    "May mga handang tumulong para mapagaan pa ang ‘solo’ naming dinadala. At sana ang batas na ito ay magsilbing paalala na kahit ‘solo’ man kaming tawagin, hinding-hindi kami nag-iisa,” she said in a Senate statement.

    Since both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed their own versions of the bill, both chambers need to come up with a reconciled version before presenting it to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.

    Sources: Reportr, Senate.gov.ph, Read Senate Bill 1411 here.

    Read celebrities inspiring quotes on self-love for solo parents here.

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