‘Balasubas’ parents who don’t provide child support may be jailed, fined in new bill

·Contributor
·2 min read
Parents and children prepare to leave a public park during its closing time, as the country's capital region loosens coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 2, 2021. Picture taken November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David
Parents and children prepare to leave a public park during its closing time, as the country's capital region loosens coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 2, 2021. Picture taken November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

“Balasubas” parents who don’t provide child support or “sustento” will be jailed from two to four years, on top of a fine of P100,000 to P300,000, under a new bill filed in the Congress.

House Bill (HB) No. 44, or the Child Support Enforcement Act authored by Northern Samar Representative Paul Daza mandates that, once an order has been issued, child support should be at least P6,000 a month, or P200 a day.

Citing World Health Organization (WHO) data showing that there are a total of 14 million single parent households in the Philippines, some 94 percent or 13.3 million of whom are headed by women, Daza said in a statement that this bill is aimed to “protect our children from deadbeat parents.”

Under the bill’s Section 15, “Any person who willfully fails to pay child support, if such an obligation has remained unpaid for two months or has an outstanding amount due of [P30,000] or more, shall be liable.”

“It’s about time that we enact a law that will protect our children from balasubas (deadbeat) parents. Imagine, these children did not choose to be born; why will they be the ones to suffer more when their parents decide to separate?” Daza said.

According to the bill, probation may be granted to a first offender, but for succeeding offenses, imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than four, and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P300,000, according to the court’s ruling, may be imposed.

“Through this proposed law, absentee or deadbeat parents (who are, unfortunately mostly men, based on statistics) can no longer act as if bringing a child in this world can easily be tossed aside when a parent or both parents decide to give up on their relationship,” Daza added.

Daza also said that there will be a provision in the bill that will allow the government to help non-custodial parents to find employment in order to provide for their children.

The bill is one of Daza’s first bills filed in the 19th Congress, which aims to address the imbalance in child support responsibilities of separated couples.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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