New law provides more benefits to solo parents

Published June 28, 2022, 11:16 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Solo parents will now have more benefits, including additional work leave, scholarship and cash subsidy, under the new law.

This came after Republic Act (RA) No. 11861, amending several provisions of RA 8972, lapsed into law on June 4 and made way for the expanded privilege given to solo parents in the Philippines.

Under the new measure, a solo parent shall have a parental leave of not more than seven days, “in addition to leave privilege under existing laws,” that is forfeitable and noncumulative. The new privilege must be given to a solo parent regardless of his or her employment status as long as he or she is employed for at least six months.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are required to grant scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and a “full scholarship” for one of his or her children, who is 22 years old and below and is still dependent.

For a solo parent who earns a minimum or less than minimum wage, he or she shall be entitled to receive P1,000 cash subsidy per month, provided that he or she is not a beneficiary of any other cash assistance program, except for senior citizens. The funding for which will be allocated by the local government where he or she lives.

A solo parent earning no more than P250,000 yearly shall also be given 10 percent discount and value-added tax exemption on baby’s milk, food and micronutrient supplements, diapers, prescribed medicines and medical supplies from the birth of his or her child until six years old.

The law also requires work discrimination protection, low-cost housing prioritization as well as automatic health insurance program under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation for a solo parent.

A solo parent is defined by the measure as someone who has a sole parental care of a child or children due to: rape, death or criminal conviction of a spouse, legal or de facto separation from a spouse, abandonment.

A parent whose spouse is an overseas Filipino worker belonging to low and semi-skilled worker category who is away for at least a year, a legal guardian solely providing support and a pregnant woman solely giving parental care are also defined as solo parent.