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Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero

Bill for Additional benefits of solo parents pushed

PHILIPPINES – To reduce the burden of solo parents in raising their children unaided, controversial Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero sought to expand further the benefits and support of solo parents on top of the provisions in Republic Act 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero

According to the lawmaker, his proposal, also known as Senate Bill No. (SBN) 121, seeks to provide additional support and benefits to solo parents such as discounts from purchases of baby’s milk, food and food supplements, clothing and medical supplies.

Escudero, chairman of the senate committee, further asserted that “although there are already benefits provided for by RA 8972, they also have to take into account the challenges of economic realities single parents face.”

Escudero said the proposal is worthy of evaluation and deliberation as all stakeholders “may be able to strike a balance between profitability and social responsibility.”

Under the bill, the following proposals shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one year:

–         parental leave of not more than seven working days WITH PAY (in addition to leave privileges under existing laws)

–         ten percent discount from all purchase of clothing and clothing materials for the child from conception until 2 years old

–         fifteen percent discount from all purchases of medicines and other medical supplements/supplies for the child from conception until 5 years old, and

–         basic personal exemption from individual income tax in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) in addition to the existing exemption a solo parent may claim.

Any solo parent, as defined by law, would be entitled to a solo parent ID by the municipal or city social welfare officer.

If an employer or any person who is found to violate the proposed act, shall be punished with imprisonment or a fine of P50,000.00 or both. Criselda C. David

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.