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Monday, May 15, 2017

Solo Parent? Apply for ID and Know Your Benefits

According to the National Statistics Office, there are 14 million solo parents in the Philippines.   Ang according to the law, all legitimate solo parents, whether they have or do not have jobs, they should be issued IDs so that they can access the benefits they are entitled of.  Under Republic Act No. 8972 or “Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000," the government is duty-bound to provide a comprehensive program of services, benefits, and privileges for solo parents and their children.



(Watch:Solo Parent ID, layuning mabigyan ng ilang benepisyo ang mga mag-isang nagpapalaki ng kanilang anak)

According to the National Statistics Office, there are 14 million solo parents in the Philippines. 

Ang according to the law, all legitimate solo parents, whether they have or do not have jobs, they should be issued IDs so that they can access the benefits they are entitled of.

Under Republic Act No. 8972 or “Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000," the government is duty-bound to provide a comprehensive program of services, benefits, and privileges for solo parents and their children. 






But the question is who are considered as "solo parent"?

A solo parent, as defined by RA 8972 is:

  • A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender provided that mother keeps and raises the child.
  • Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to the following circumstances:
a. Due to death of a spouse.

b. Spouse is detained or is a serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year.

c. Physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner.

d. Legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year, as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children.

e. Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children.

  • Unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution.
  • Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children.
  • Any family member who assumes the responsibility of the head of the family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent.




What are the criteria for support?

Any solo parent whose income falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance. A solo parent can directly inquire from the following agencies to avail of their services:

  • Health Services (DOH)
  • Educational Services (CHED, TESDA)
  • Housing (NHA)
  • Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE, CSC)
Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE, CSC) Note: A solo parent whose income is above the poverty threshold shall enjoy only such limited benefits as flexible work schedule, parental leave and others to be determined by the DSWD.

(Watch:Solo Parent's Act)

BENEFITS
  • Flexible work schedule
A solo parent employee has the right to vary his/her arrival and departure time without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer. The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents, as long as it shall not affect individual and company productivity. In the case of certain meritorious grounds, the employer may request an exemption from DOLE.
  • No work discrimination
The employer is prohibited from discriminating against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.
  • Parental leave
The parental leave of seven (7) days shall be granted to any Solo Parent employee subject to the following conditions:

1. The solo parent must have rendered government service for a least one (1) year, whether continuous or broken, reckoned at the time of the effectivity of the law on September 22, 2002, regardless of the employment status.

2. The parental leave shall be availed of every year and shall not be convertible to cash. If not availed within the calendar year, said privilege shall be forfeited within the same year.

3. The parental leave shall be availed of on a continuous or staggered basis, subject to the approval of the Administrator. In this regard, the solo parent shall submit the application for parental leave at least one (1) week prior to availing the solo parent leave, except on emergency cases.

4. The solo parent employee may avail of parental leave under any of the following circumstances:

a. Attend to personal milestones of a child such as a birthday, communion, graduation and other similar events;

b. Perform parental obligations such as enrollment and attendance in school programs, PTA meetings and the like;

c. Attend to medical social, spiritual and recreational needs of the child;

d. Other similar circumstances necessary in the performance of parental duties and responsibilities, where the physical presence of the parent is required.

5. The head of agency/office concerned may determine whether granting of parental leave is proper or may conduct the necessary investigation to ascertain if grounds for termination and withdrawal of the privilege exist.

Solo parents (under R.A. No. 8972 also known as the Solo Parent Act) with child/children with disability

A single or legally separated individual who has a child, legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted, is entitled to a basic personal exemption granted to a head of the family. He/She has entitled also to an additional exemption of P8,000 per qualified dependent (not exceeding four). A solo parent is not entitled to the above additional exemption if he/she takes care of a person with a disability who is not his/her child unless he/she legally adopts the same.

(Watch:SOLO PARENTS Law Part 1)


(Watch:SOLO PARENTS Law Part 2)


How to Apply for a Solo Parent ID

1. The applicants for the solo parent ID must bring the following documents to the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office:

  • Barangay certification certifying Solo Parent’s residence in the barangay for the last six months
  • Certificates e.g., birth certificates of children, death certificate of spouse and other appropriate documentary support
  • Income tax return or any document that will establish the income level of the solo parent
2. The social worker receives and ensures that all documents are complete and registers the applications with an appropriate case number in the log-book Registry of Solo Parents.

Note: The ID will be issued after 30 days from filing. The validity of the ID is one year and is renewable.



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