On June 4, Republic Act (RA) 11861, also known as the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, which amends a number of RA 8972’s provisions, lapsed into law.
The law adds a section declaring the third week and third Saturday of April of every year as Solo Parents Week and National Solo Parents Day, respectively.
Who is considered a Solo Parent?
A person is considered a solo parent if they take care of their children alone due to the death, mental or physical incapacity of their spouse, if they have been legally separated for at least six months, if their spouse has abandoned them for at least six months.
According to the new law, spouses or any other family members of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who fall into the low/semi-skilled category and are absent from the Philippines for an uninterrupted period of 12 months are included in the description of “solo parents.” Grandparents, relatives, or qualified guardians who have sole custody of the kid are also included in the amendment.
RA 11861: Expanded Solo Parent Welfare Act Benefits
- A single parent is now entitled to a seven-day paid leave provided they have worked for at least six months, as opposed to the previous longer one-year provision. Solo parents will also be given priority in a telecommuting program.
- Under this new law, solo parents who earn a minimum or less than the minimum wage are entitled to a monthly cash subsidy of P1,000.
- A solo parent earning less than P250,000 will also receive a 10% discount and value-added tax exemption on baby products such as milk, diapers, vaccines, and medicine until the child is six years old.
- Senior citizens or persons with disability acting as solo parents can also avail of the discounts, this is on top of their other benefits.
- Solo parents employed in the government or private sector are entitled to a seven-day paid parental leave each year.
- It also provides scholarship programs for solo parents and a full school scholarship for one child of a solo parent in institutions of basic, higher, and technical vocational skills education as well as automatic coverage under the National Health Insurance Program being administered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation with premium contributions to be paid by the national government.
- One of the relevant provisions included in the law is granting the right to a solo parent to receive benefits until the child is 22 years old.
- RA 11861 directs the Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary, in coordination with other agencies, to develop a “comprehensive package” of social protection services for solo parents and their families which includes livelihood opportunities, legal advice and assistance, counseling services, parent effectiveness services, and stress debriefing, among others, regardless of financial status.
How to Avail the Benefits?
Those who qualify must obtain a Solo Parent ID and present it to avail of the benefits. It is available at the Solo Parent Office of their local government unit.
Download the PDF Copy of RA 11861: Expanded Solo Parent Welfare Act