Outgoing senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday, June 29 said he is elated for the over 15 million solo parents in the country that would be enjoying additional privileges and government support with the passage into law of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act or Republic Act 11861.
Gordon said the new law will help empower the many families that may be going through a rough patch in their lives.
“We are thankful that a timely law like this has been passed as it shows the liberality and humanity that our society has become over the years,” said Gordon.
“Kami ay umaasa na ang batas na ito ay makatutulong sa solo parents at kanilang mga anak na magkaroon ng kaunting ayuda at benepisyong hatid ng estado (we are hoping that this law will truly help solo parents and their children so they can receive a little more cash assistance and benefits that come from the government),” he added.
Gordon, a primary author of RA 11861, said that lawmakers “want to make the solo parents feel that the government is behind them and shall not be shortchanged in terms of the provision of services rendered.”
“They also will not be discriminated by their employers, including an access to the work at home set-up, and shall enjoy parental leave and other benefits,” he continued.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who is also one of the authors and co-sponsors of the measure, also hailed the passage of the measure on solo parents into law.
Go acknowledged that solo parents are both the breadwinners and caregivers of their families. Hence, they should be acknowledged appropriately and given utmost support in order to live a comfortable life.
“The privileges and benefits awarded to them before this law are insufficient for the complexity of their needs. It is just right to give them the additional support they need and benefits they deserve,” Go said.
Among the benefits that solo parents will now enjoy include additional financial assistance for those earning minimum wage and below; 10 percent discount on basic necessities such as food and micronutrient supplements, diapers, and duly prescribed medicines for solo parents earning less than P250,000 annually; and prioritization in housing and livelihood programs from the government.
Go assured that these additional benefits include providing solo parents with special discounts on basic purchases, such as baby’s milk and food, and medicine.
The Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will also provide scholarship programs for solo parents.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros has also welcomed the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act which lapsed into law last June 4, 2022, calling it a “victory” for solo parents like her.