Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Solo Parents’ Welfare Act (R.A. 8972)


By Shirley E. Pasobillo

Are you familiar with R.A. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000?

Who are considered Solo Parents? Are you a solo parent like me? Well, find time to read this article.

According to the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 8972), you are considered a single mom if:

You became pregnant as a result of rape or other crimes against chastity, provided that you keep and raise the child

You are parenting solo under these circumstances:

The death of a spouse

Your spouse is detained or serving a sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one year

Your spouse is deemed physically or mentally incapable of sharing the parenting responsibility, as certified by a public mental practitioner

Legal separation or de facto separation for at least one year, as long as you are entrusted with custody of the children

Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or church, as long as you are entrusted with custody of the children

Abandonment from your spouse for at least one year

You are an unmarried mother rearing your child

You are any other person who is the sole provider of parental care to a child or children

You are a family member who has assumed the responsibility of head of the family as the result of death, disappearance, abandonment, or prolonged absence of a child’s parents.

As a single mom in the Philippines, you are entitled to certain benefits, as stated in the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 (RA 8972).

You may then inquire regarding availment of the following services from the corresponding agencies:

-Health Services (DOH), Educational Services (CHED, TESDA), Housing (NHA) and Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE, CSC)

A single mom whose income is above the poverty threshold shall be entitled to limited benefits, such as:

Flexible work schedule – The right to vary your arrival and departure time at work, provided that this does not affect company and individual productivity, and does not affect the core work hours defined by your employer.

No work discrimination – Employers are prohibited from discriminating against single moms with respect to terms and conditions of employment in relation to her status.

Parental leave – A seven-day leave granted to solo parents, which may be availed of continuously or on a staggered basis, given the following circumstances:

To attend to personal milestones of children such as birthdays, graduation, and similar events

To perform parental obligations such as enrollment, attendance of school programs, PTA meetings, etc.

Attend to the medical, social, spiritual and recreational needs of children

Other relevant circumstances where the physical presence of a parent is required.

As stated in Solo Parents Welfare Act, you should apply for a Solo Parent I.D. in order to avail of the benefits.

What documents should be presented at the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development(C/MSWD) office?

Barangay certificate as proof of residency in your barangay for the last six months

Documents that prove you are a solo parent, such as the birth certificates of your children, death certificate of your spouse, declaration of nullity of marriage, medical certificate if your spouse is incapacitated

A certificate issued by your Barangay Captain indicating the circumstances of one’s being a solo parent, in the case of de facto separation

Your income Tax Return (ITR) or certification from the barangay/municipal treasurer to establish your income level.

The application for solo parent will be evaluated by a social worker and your ID should be issued within 30 days from the date of your application. The ID is renewable annually.

I am a solo parent for 19 years now and feel humbled and grateful to my present and former school heads, namely: Elvin B. Monroy and Benedik Warren R. Ubante (Cararayan NHS), Dante R. Santelices, Manny M. De Guzman, Marcelino B. Relayo and Nida L. Ebora (Sabang HS, now NCSAT- N.C.) and Pedro M. Illanza(+), (Sagrada HS-I.C.)
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