City Council approves discounts, benefits for ‘single parents’

Jerra Mae Librea

SINGLE parents in Cebu City can now enjoy benefits and privileges after legislators approved an ordinance that will allow them to get discounts when purchasing goods and services.

The Cebu City approved the ordinance entitled “Solo Parents’ Discounts and Incentives Ordinance of Cebu City” during its regular session on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

The ordinance, which was authored by Councilors Alvin Dizon, Eduardo Rama Jr. and Lea Japson, aims to alleviate the plight of solo parents and their children and promote their rights and welfare as provided for by the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.

In Cebu City, there are around 1,000 registered solo parents based on the record in the Women and Family Affairs Office.

Following the approval of the ordinance, solo parents can enjoy 10-percent discounts on grocery items, school supplies, wellness and entertainment such as in movies, parks, salons and spas and fitness centers every first and third Sundays of the month, while they can avail themselves of the discount for medical and dental services and vocational and formal education services as along as it is available.

Solo parents only have to show their identification card which will be issued by the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS).

The City will also recognize establishments that will provide benefits to registered solo parents.

But for establishments that fail to do so, they will be penalized with a P1,000 fine and a warning for first offense; warning and a P3,000 fine for the second offense; and a P5,000 fine and suspension of business permit or worse, closure order, for the third offense.

Aside from discounts, solo parents whose income falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority and as verified by the DSWS can avail themselves of the programs and services in the Cebu City Medical Center, Cebu City Health Office, Division for the Welfare and Urban Poor for socialized housing services, Department of Manpower and Development and Placement for employment services, DSWS for livelihood services and City Legal Office for legal services.

Individuals can qualify as solo parents if they are women who gave birth as a result of a rape and other crimes; left alone due to the death of a spouse or incapacity of the spouse to be a parent as tested by medical practitioner; left alone due to separation or annulment and get the custody of the child; or unmarried mothers and fathers.

The barangays and the DSWS will work together in identifying all the solo parents in the city’s 80 villages.

The ordinance states that solo parents whose status will change will result to the forfeiture of their qualification as solo parents and they can no longer enjoy the provided benefits.

The ordinance also provides a penalty for solo parent ID holders who are caught for improper use of the ID.

Based on the ordinance, the holder will be subject to criminal prosecution under the pertinent provision of the Revised Penal Code and automatic cancellation of the ID and benefits.