Are you a single mom or dad? Here are the rights you are entitled to by law
The number of solo parents are expected to rise to 20 million this year, Rappler reports, citing a joint study conducted by the University of the Philippines and the Department of Health. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) around 60 million Filipino children are being raised by single parents.
The Solo Parents' Welfare Act (R.A. 8972) was established to grant benefits and privileges to solo parents and their children.
According to this, solo parents are:
1. Moms who got pregnant as the result of “rape or crimes against chastity, so long as you keep and raise the child.”
2. You are parenting solo as a result of:
- The death of a spouse
- Detention or imprisonment of a spouse
- Your spouse is physically and mentally incapable of assuming parental responsibility (certified by a medical practitioner
- Legal separation or de facto separation for at least a year (if you’re granted child custody)
- Nullity or annulment of marriage (decreed by court or the church and granted child custody
- Abandoned by spouse for at least one year
3. You are an unmarried parent raising your child
4. You are any other person or relative who has assumed parental responsibility for a variety of reasons (death, disappearance, abandonment, or prolonged absence of a child’s parents).
If you’re a solo parent whose below the poverty line, you can get your income assessed by the DSWD. This official will determine your eligibility for financial assistance.
Once approved, you can apply to avail of these benefits and privileges:
- Health Services (DOH)
- Educational Services (CHED, TESDA)
- Housing (NHA)
- Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE, CSC)
Your rights as an employed solo parent
As a solo parent who’s earning beneath the poverty threshold, you are entitled to a flexible work schedule, freedom from discrimination, and solo parent leave.
Your right to a flexible work schedule varies depending on your expected work hours. It’s also important to remember that this flexibility should not hamper or hinder your own or your company’s productivity.
Employers should not discriminate against solo parents, providing them with the same fairness as they would any other employee.
All Solo Parents are entitled to a seven-day leave. They can avail of this on a continuous or staggered basis.
These leave days can be taken in the following circumstances:
- Children’s birthdays, graduation, or other similar milestones.
- Parental obligations like enrollment, school plays, or parent-teacher conferences
- To fulfill medical, social, spiritual, and recreational needs of children
- Other circumstances requiring a parent to be physically present
According to Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices, a solo parent employee must have rendered at least a year of service (continuous or not) to be entitled to avail of the solo parent leave. The employee should also give advanced notice that he or she will be availing of the Solo Parent Leave.
Finally, the employee should present a Solo Parent ID to his or employer.
How to get a Solo Parent ID
The Solo Parent ID can be obtained from the nearest DSWD office in the employee’s city of residence.
To apply, you will need to prepare:
1. Proof of residency – Barangay Certificate (for the last 6 months)
2. Supporting documents – birth certificates, death certificate of spouse, medical certificate (for incapacitated spouse), declaration of nullity of marriage
3. Certificate issued by your Barangay Captain – for de facto separation
4. Income Tax Return (ITR) or certification from the barangay/municipal treasurer – to prove income level
Once approved, you will receive your ID within 30 days. This renewable identification card will be valid for one year.
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