DSWD supports amendments to Solo Parents Law

A February 24, 2012 press release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development

After more than a decade of implementing the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has recommended amendments in the law to make it more responsive to the needs of solo parents.

Specifically, the DSWD recommends the following: decrease the waiting period from one year to six months before a solo parent can be allowed to avail of benefits as a solo parent; include a provision clarifying the category of any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children, specifying if he/she is a legal guardian, adoptive parent or licensed foster family; and include a provision for the issuance of ID to a solo parent in the law so they will be entitled to benefits.

Under RA 8972, a wife or husband who had been abandoned by her/his spouse had to wait for one year before being granted a solo parents identification card. This delays the availing of benefits such as, seven days parental leave and comprehensive psychosocial package of services offered by DSWD and other concerned agencies.

The DSWD also recommends the inclusion of penalties for non-compliance to the amended law and the inclusion of budget appropriation for its implementation.

In a position paper addressed to Honorable Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman signified the Department’s full support to the substitute bill that seeks to amend RA 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000, to help lessen the financial burden being carried by the solo parents for their children.

“Since solo parents are part of the disadvantaged sector that DSWD serves and protects, it is also our responsibility to support legislative measures, which will help improve their lives,” Secretary Soliman said.

Based on the results of a study by the Department of Health (DOH) and the University of the Philippines–National Institute for Health (UP-NIH), posted on March, 2011 at singleparentsphilippines.web.com, solo parents comprise 14 to 15 percent of an estimated 94 million Filipinos, thus placing their number at about 13.9 million.

“The changing times and the growing number of single parent—households call for a more wholistic and substantial help from the government,” Secretary Soliman said.