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House Appropriations Committee OKs substitute bill granting more benefits to solo parents

In less than 10 minutes, the House Committee on Appropriations approved on Tuesday a substitute measure granting additional benefits to solo parents.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE

In a virtual meeting, the House panel specifically passed the funding provision of the measure after Zambales 2nd district Rep. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, chairperson of the House Committee on Revision of Laws that approved the measure last February 26, 2020, sought for its immediate approval.

“In this measure, we would like to recognise the sacrifices of our solo parent who is left with sole responsibility of taking care of his or her children. We would like to let them feel that the government is here to share the burden in rearing their children to become productive members of our society when they grow up,” Montalla said in her sponsorship speech.

She noted that there are more than 2 million solo parents, 540,854 of whom belong to the category of poor solo parents with less earning capacity.

“This representation believes that helping these solo parents will not hurt much the coffers of the government compared to the returns to the society of this government investment in our human capital. In view of this, I am earnestly requesting the approval of the appropriations provision of the measure,” Montalla said.

It was Davao de Oro 2nd District Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga who moved for the approval of the funding provisions of the bill which provides for a 10 percent discount on various basic needs of the solo parent’s child, including for children’s clothing materials, food and micronutrient supplement, and for medicines for children five years and below.

Section 24 of the substitute bill provides that the necessary appropriations for the operation and maintenance of the Solo Parent Office (SPO) and Solo Parents Division (SPD) shall be approved by the concerned local government units (LGUs).

Under the bill, a Solo Parent Office (SPO) shall be established in every province and city, while a Solo Parent Division (SPD) shall be set up in all other municipalities under the Municipal Social Welfare Office.

Among the functions of the SPO and SPD are: to serve as a general information center, and liaison center for solo parents, monitor compliance of the provisions of the proposed Act, particularly the grant of privileges and additional benefits; to report to the Mayor or Office of the Social Welfare any establishments, business entity, institution or agency found violating the proposed Act, and to assist the solo parents in filing complaints against erring individual establishment, business entity, institution or agency.

It provides that for national government agencies, the requirement to implement the provisions of the proposed Act shall be included in their respective budgets.

The bill authorizes the government agencies to use a portion of their respective budget for gender and development programs and activities to implement the proposed Act.

Under the measure, a comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their children shall be developed by the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher and Technical Education (CHED, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Civil Service Commission, (CSC), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), LGUs, and a non-government organization with proven track record in providing services for solo parents.

The substitute bill, a consolidation of 21 measures, seeks to amend Republic Act No. (RA) 8972, the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000.

Under the bill, solo parents are entitled to seven-day parental leave with pay every year, provided that they should have rendered service of at least six months, instead of one year as provided under the current law.

The measure penalizes any person or company that denies or hinders a solo parent from availing of any of the benefits.

First-time violators shall face a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 or imprisonment of six months up to one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, the bill provides.

For any subsequent violation, a fine ranging from P100,000 to P200,000 or imprisonment of one year to two years, or both, at the discretion of the court shall be slapped, it said.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/25/house-appropriations-committee-oks-substitute-bill-granting-more-benefits-to-solo-parents/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=house-appropriations-committee-oks-substitute-bill-granting-more-benefits-to-solo-parents)

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