ANG Probinsiyano party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos has expressed elation over the passage of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act.
The Republic Act Np. 11861 is among the 25 bills enacted into law before President Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from Malacanang.
According to delos Santos, the as early as 2019, both Chambers of the 18th Congress have been tirelessly working to ensure the passage of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act.
The House of Representatives submitted to the Senate last January 20, 2021, for approval. The Senate approved the bill on December 13, 2021.
“Natutuwa po ako na naisabatas na ang Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. Matagal din naming trinabaho ito sa kongreso. Malapit po ang batas na ito sa aking puso dahil ako po ay maagang naulila sa ama. Ang aking ina ay isang solo parent na itinaguyod kaming limang magkakapatid. Kaya ramdam ko po ang hirap ng isang magulang na mag-isang kumakayod at kumakalinga sa kanyang pamilya. Ang batas na ito ay alay namin sa milyun-milyong solo parents nating kababayan. Nasa inyo po ang aking malalim na respeto,” the solon said as he thanked his colleagues and President Duterte for the passage of the bill.
According to a study conducted by University of the Philippines Manila and funded by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 14 to 15 million Filipinos are considered “solo parents.”
The law expanded the definition of “solo parents”, it provides that the following are now considered as solo parents, A parent who provides sole parental care due to: Birth as a consequence of rape, Death of the spouse, Detention of the spouse, Physical or mental incapacity, Legal or de facto separation, Nullity or annulment, Abandonment by spouse, family members of Overseas Filipino Workers who are in the low/semi-skilled category and who have been away from the Philippines for an unbroken period of 1 year.
An amendment now also includes grandparents, family members and even non-relatives who bear the sole responsibility on a child.
The law also entitles solo parents with the following important benefits: a monthly cash subsidy of Php1,000 from the government for those who are minimum wage earners or below will now; a Solo Parent Identification Card (SPIC) / Booklet that would enable them 10% discount on baby’s milk, diapers, medicines and even school supplies for children up to 6 years old; additional 7 days leave with pay, on top of other employment leave benefits; automatic Philhealth coverage; priority in housing benefits; DepEd, CHED and TESDA scholarships or grants for the children; apprenticeship programs at TESDA for qualified single parents. Moreover, an important provision in the new law grants rights and benefits to a solo parent until the child is 22 years old.
To be able to avail of the benefits of Expanded Solo Parents Act, To avail of the additional benefits, the solo parent must secure a Solo Parent Identification Card (SPIC) from the Solo Parents Office (city/province) or Solo Parents Division (municipality).
The applicant must fill out a Solo Parent ID Application Form to get a SPIC ID/ booklet and attach all the necessary requirement in their application such as proof of residence in the barangay for at least 6 months, proof of financial status and supporting documents that you are a solo parent (death certificate, OFW certificate, birth certificate of children, etc). The SPIC ID/booklet shall be renewed annually.