Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other partner agencies on Thursday signed the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11861 or the “Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act.”
RA 11861 amends RA 8972, or the “Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.” The new law is generously regarded in favor of the single parent and implemented in compliance with the law as well as the principles of equality and compassionate social justice.
“The department recognizes the urgency to take a step to end the deplorable plight of our solo parents. We understand their hardships and the DSWD has been firm in supporting the expansion of the benefits for our solo parents,” Secretary Erwin Tulfo said during his opening remarks.
“This is the reason why I ordered the immediate crafting of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 11861 or the ‘Expanded Solo Parent’s Welfare Act,'” he added.
Under the expanded law, solo parents earning the minimum wage or less are eligible for a P1,000 monthly cash subsidy from the local government unit if they are not also beneficiaries of other cash assistance programs.
They will also receive a 10 percent discount and will be free from paying value-added tax for baby formula milk, food, micronutrient supplements, sanitary diapers, duly prescribed medications, immunizations, and other medical supplements from the time the baby is born until six years old.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) will prioritize single parents in low-cost housing projects and offer flexible payment options. They will also be automatically covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth.
Based on eligibility criteria and restrictions, a single parent may apply for scholarship programs operated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Commission on Higher Education, or the Department of Education. As long as the child is under the age of 22, the child of a single parent will be eligible for the full scholarship program.
Tulfo asked local government units to issue a single parent identification card to individuals who qualify, without regard to political beliefs or social connection.
“Let us continue to work together to implement this law toward the goal of achieving a just and fair society for all Filipino solo parents,” he said.