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Bill penalizes parents who fail to give child support

February 7, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 476 views

A lawmaker is pushing for the approval of a measure that penalizes negligent parents refusing to provide child support.

House Bill 44 filed by Senior Deputy Minority Leader Northern Samar Representative Paul Ruiz Daza is undergoing deliberation on the House committee on welfare of children.

The bill or “An Act Ensuring Child Support and Penalizing Parental Refusal or Neglect Thereof” put provisions of penalty such as imprisonment.

These sanctions, according to Daza, would strengthen mandates on child welfare and protection.

“Make the law na talagang magkaroon ng ngipin para matakot ‘yung non-custodial parent, para magbayad, magbigay (to really have teeth, to scare the non-custodial parent into providing)” Daza said.

“There are already existing child support provisions in the Family Code,” Daza acknowledged, before lamenting on the persistence of parent negligence as a “perennial problem” he added.

Daza cited a World Health Organization study that there may be up to 14 million single-parent households in the Philippines.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through Assistant Bureau Director Miramel Garcia-Laxa, concurred with Daza’s sentiments, revealing inside the deliberations that around 280 child custody cases were brought to their attention in 2022 alone. Laxa also shared the department’s support for the bill, calling it “a priority legislative agenda.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, had recorded 3,684 cases of economic violence against women from 2018 to 2023, according to PBGen. Matthew Bacay, which includes child support negligence under Under Republic Act (RA) No. 9262.

The passing of HB No. 44, Daza shared, “essentially addresses the gaps to make it easier for custodial parents to be able to enforce child support.”

The bill proposes a child support amount of P6,000 monthly, while the final amount is still undetermined by the DSWD and courts. Should non-custodial parents fail after two months or upon incurring P30,000 in outstanding amounts, it will lead them to be liable for imprisonment of up to four years and a fine of up to P300,000.