Senate ratifies proposed Expanded Solo Parents Welfare law
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday ratified the bicameral conference committee report of a bill expanding the range of benefits and coverage under the current Solo Parents’ Welfare Act.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate’s contingent at the bicameral conference, said the final version of the proposed law included the following provisions:
- The expansion of the definition of solo parents to include spouses of low-skill overseas Filipino workers away from the country for an uninterrupted period of time
- The decrease in the number of months of employment before availment of the Solo Parent leave
- The increase in the age ceiling of the child of the solo parent for availment of benefits, to align this measure with the K-12 educational system
- The provision of a P1000 aid for minimum wage earning solo parents
- Other benefits such as educational scholarships for eligible children of eligible solo parents, a 10% discount on specific medicines for low-income solo parents with children 6 years and below, prioritization in low-cost housing, and Philhealth coverage
- Increased the safeguards of the law against fraud and leakage to ensure that only those who are really solo parents will enjoy the benefits of the law.
The Senate approved their version of the measure on third and final reading in December last year.
The House of Representatives has yet to ratify the bicameral conference committee report, but once the chamber does so, the proposed law would be up for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
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