A solo parent is any individual who assumes the sole responsibility of raising a child or children.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are more than 17 million solo parents in the country.
Marivic Ido has been struggling in raising her two-year old child after her partner abandoned them.
She shared the ordeals that a single parent like her has to face.
“Walang trabaho tapos ayaw din ipagamit apelyido niya kaya apelyido ko na rin,’ Marivic said about the father of her child. “Mahirap, at least andiyan iyong mga kapatid mo, magulang mo umaagapay sa iyo,” she said.
The increasing number of Filipino single parents has led the passage of the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2002.
The Solo Parents Act was enacted to provide a comprehensive program for single parents and their children. It covers fathers or mothers who are raising their children by themselves, either because of the death of the spouse, abandonment, separation or even those who have children as a result of rape.
The law also considers as solo parent those who are left to care for children not their own, such as nephews, nieces or godchildren.
Under the measure, solo parents are entitled to have flexible work schedules as long as it will not affect individual and company productivity; solo parent employees will also get parental leave of not more than seven working days each year to enable him or her to perform physical parental duties and responsibilities.
Solo parents who are below poverty threshold are also entitled to receive livelihood assistance as well as psychological, security and educational assistance.
People eligible under the Solo Parent’s Act should get a solo-parent ID to be able to claim the said benefits.
Upon hearing of the passage of this law, Marivic said, she immediately applied for an identification card.
However, she still hasn’t gotten one.
According to a federation of solo parents, ID application should not take longer than 30 days if applicants have presented complete documents and requirements.
“Kung titignan natin ang batas, based doon sa Republic Act 8972 naglalayon ito ng 30 days kasi nga may mga proseso. Pero may mga sitwasyon kasi na kumpleto ng requirements at pinatutunayan na talagang solo parent at siya naman ay nagta- trabaho din ay nabibigyan ito ng mas mabilis, iyong iba nga mayroon pang 7 days,’ explained Josie Velasco, the vice president of the Federation of Solo Parents, Luxvimin Inc.
To get a solo parent ID, applicants should present documents such as barangay certificate certifying solo parent’s residency in the village for at least six months; income tax return or any document establishing the income level of the solo parent; death certificate of spouse and annulment of marriage.
In Quezon City alone, there are around half a million solo parents but only 21,000 are registered ID holders.
“In Quezon City, nakapagpasa na ng 20 percent (discount) para sa mga pagkain, restaurant establishment, ganoon din ang Bulacan , Angeles, ang Baguio and Naga. Nabibigyan pa sila ng pagkakataon na mapa- priority rin naman sila sa mga livelihood program, education,’ Velasco noted.
The federation of solo parents assured that they will continue to push for additional benefits to support single parents in their fight for a better life for themselves and their children. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
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