As a solo parent, you are familiar with the challenges of juggling work and family responsibilities independently. Let’s face it. You need all the help you can get.
Thankfully, here’s some good news. The Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act was passed to provide benefits, privileges, and financial assistance.
This article will discuss its benefits and how you can take advantage of them. So, if you are a solo parent in the Philippines, read on to learn more about your rights and options under this new law.
- What is the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act or Republic Act (RA) 11861?
- Who is considered a solo parent?
- What are the benefits of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act?
- How can I avail the benefits of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act?
What is the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act or Republic Act (RA) 11861?
The Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, also known as Republic Act 11861, is a law that provides benefits and privileges to solo parents and their children.
The law recognizes the unique challenges that solo parents face in raising their families. It provides them with financial assistance, access to discounts, scholarships, and other forms of support.
It also requires employers to give solo parents flexible work arrangements and additional leave days. By giving solo parents the tools they need to succeed, the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act helps to promote strong families and healthy communities.
Who is considered a solo parent?
According to this act, a solo parent refers to anyone unmarried and unemployed with primary care and custody of children. Solo parents fall into these categories:
- A woman who gives birth as a result of rape or other forms of sexual abuse and related crimes.
- A parent left alone with the responsibility due to the spouse’s death.
- A parent left alone with the responsibility due to the criminal conviction of the spouse for at least one (1) year.
- A parent left alone with the responsibility due to the spouse’s physical or mental incapacity.
- Legal separation from the spouse for at least one (1) year.
- Declaration of annulment or nullity of marriage decreed by the court or church.
- A parent left alone by the spouse due to abandonment for at least one (1) year.
- An unmarried father or mother prefers full custody and keeps and rears the child or children.
- A legal guardian or any other person who solely provides parental care.
- Any family member who assumes the responsibility to be the head of the family due to the death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the parent.
What are the benefits of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act?
Single parents in the Philippines have a lot of help, thanks to the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. This act, also known as RA 11861, provides single parents with a wide range of benefits and programs designed to help them care for their children.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall coordinate with concerned agencies such as DOH, DOLE, TESDA, DILG, and CHED to implement the comprehensive social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families.
The package will initially include temporary financial assistance, counseling, training and livelihood programs, day care services, health services, and housing programs.
Minimum wage earners solo parents are entitled ₱1,000 monthly cash subsidy provided that they are not recipients of any other cash assistance from other government agencies.
Exemption from VAT (value added tax)
Solo parents earning less than ₱250,000 per year are exempted from VAT (value-added tax). They can avail 10% discount on baby products such as milk, diapers, vaccines, medical supplies, and other prescribed medicines from birth until the child reaches the age of six.
Solo parents and their child/children can apply for scholarship programs if they meet the qualifications required by the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and TESDA.
Regardless of employment status, Solo parent employees who have rendered services for at least six months are entitled to a yearly noncumulative and forfeitable parental leave of seven days with pay.
No work discrimination
Employers shouldn’t discriminate the employees because of their status as solo parents. They can also arrange a flexible work setup to help the solo parent tend to his or her family’s needs.
Breastfeeding in workplace
Working mothers who are solo parents and report to the office have a right to breastfeed in the workplace.
Solo parents are granted automatic PhilHealth coverage as long as their premium contributions are up to date and are shared equally by their employers.
Access to low-cost housing projects
Solo parents will have easy access to low-cost housing programs by the government and can enjoy flexible payment terms.
How can I avail the benefits of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act?
To claim the benefits mentioned above, ensure that you have a Solo Parent ID and a booklet. If you don’t have one, here’s what you need to do:
How to apply for a Solo Parent ID in the Philippines
The Solo Parent ID must be renewed annually. You may coordinate with the social worker assigned at your municipality or nearest DSWD office. Bring the following requirements.
- Duly accomplished application form provided by the DSWD
- Barangay certificate to verify your residence
- Barangay captain’s certification to verify you are a solo parent
- Birth certificate ofSpouse’sild/children from the Philippine Statistics Authority
- Supporting documents such as Certificate of No Marrspouse’sNOMAR), spouse’s death certificate, declaration of nullity of marriage, a medical certificate as proof of the spouse’s physical or mental incapacity
- Financial documents to show your income, such as Income Tax Returns (ITR)
Other supporting documents to verify your status as a solo parent
Visit your municipality or your nearest DSWD office and submit these documents.
Taking care of children without a partner can be overwhelming, but fortunately, these benefits for solo parents somehow lessen the burden, especially for those earning the minimum wage or even less.
So if you are a solo parent or know someone who is, spread the word about this new law and its benefits. And if you’re not a solo parent, why not show your support by sharing this article with your friends and family?