Solo Parents Welfare Act: Know The Benefits You're Entitled To
Solo parents need—and even welcome—all and any help they can get! That's exactly what our government is offering through the Solo Parents Welfare Act. Here's a primer you should definitely be aware of.
When are you considered a solo parent?
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 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
Find out what single moms in the Philippines are entitled to on the next page!
The Solo Parents Welfare Act
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).
If you are a single mom whose income falls below the poverty threshold set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), you may request for an assessment from a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) worker in your area to determine your eligibility for assistance.
You may then inquire regarding availment of the following services from the corresponding agencies:
- Health Services (DOH)
- Educational Services (CHED, TESDA)
- Housing (NHA)
- 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
Go to the next page for step by step instructions on how to get your Solo Parent ID.
How to get a Solo Parent ID
To avail of the benefits stated in the Solo Parents Welfare Act, you should apply for a Solo Parent ID. For this, you need to present the following documents 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
A social worker will then process your application and evaluate your solo parent situation. Your ID should be issued within 30 days from your application date. This is valid for one year, and is renewable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia de Castro-Cuyugan
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