Legarda Seeks to Expand Solo Parents LawJuly 31, 2016
Senator Loren Legarda has proposed amendments to Republic Act No. 8972, or the Solo Parents Welfare Act, aimed at reducing financial burden carried by solo parents.
In filing Senate Bill No. 243, Legarda acknowledges the fact that even with the privileges provided for solo parents under the current law, additional support is needed by solo parents in the face of economic turmoil characterized by skyrocketing prices, poverty and massive unemployment.
“Solo parents perform parental duties single-handedly in the face of these challenges. We see the necessity to amend the existing law to address the financial concerns of solo parents. We want to provide solo parents with additional benefits, such as discounts from purchases for their children’s basic needs,” the Senator explained.
SBN 243 aims to provide the following additional support and benefits to qualified solo parents:
- Ten percent (10%) discount from all purchases of clothing and clothing materials for the child for two (2) years from child birth;
- Fifteen (15%) discount from all purchases of baby’s milk, food and food supplements;
- Fifteen (15%) percent discount from all purchases of medicines and other medical supplements/ supplies for the child; and
- Basic personal exemption from individual income tax.
“Through this amendment, we are assisting the solo parents to be able to provide a better future for their children,” said Legarda.
The Senator clarified that these benefits are only available to a single parent who does not receive support from the child’s other parent.
Under the law, a solo parent is someone who falls under any of the following categories:
- 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 the mother keeps and raises the child;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to death of spouse;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood while the spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to 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;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to 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;
- Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year;
- 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 head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent.