MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is pushing for changes in the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 to make it easier for single parents to avail of benefits provided by the law and to lessen their financial burden.
The DSWD has recommended to Congress the following amendments: decrease the waiting period from one year to six months before a solo parent can be allowed to avail of benefits; 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 so they will be entitled to benefits.
The DSWD also proposed the inclusion of penalties for noncompliance to the amended law and the inclusion of budget appropriation for its implementation.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman has submitted a position paper to Rep. Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, signifying DSWD’s full support to the substitute bill that seeks to amend the law.
“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,” Soliman said.
A wife or husband who has been abandoned by her/his spouse has to wait for one year before being granted a solo parents identification card.
This delays the availability of benefits, such as seven days parental leave and comprehensive psycho-social package of services offered by DSWD and other concerned agencies.
The DSWD said amendments to the law should ease the bureaucratic and financial burden of single parents.
“The changing times and the growing number of single-parent households call for a more wholistic and substantial help from the government,” Soliman said.