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Solo parents need help of community – DSWD

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Cognizant of the difficulty of solo parents to raise their children on their own, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has recognized the vital role of the community in providing the necessary support system. “Mahirap maging isang solong magulang kaya’t kailangan nila ang tulong ng komunidad. Kung maaari ay maibigay natin ang tulong sa kanila sa pamamagitan halimbawa ng pag-buo ng mga daycare centers o child minding centers sa ating mga komunidad kung saan safe nilang maiiwan ang kanilang mga anak habang sila ay nagtatrabaho. (It is difficult to be a solo parent so they need the community’s help. It would be of great help if communities can set up day care centers or child minding centers where they can safely leave their young children while they are at work),” Assistant Secretary Hope V. Hervilla said during the Advocacy Meeting/Forum with Solo Parent Employees of DSWD Central Office held recently.
Kailangan ding matanggal ang stigma ng pagiging isang solo parent, pag-unawa at pagkalinga ang dapat ibigay sa kanila at hindi panghuhusga (We also need to remove the stigma of being a solo parent, they need care and understanding, not judgment),” Asec. Hervilla emphasized. She added that the DSWD under the leadership of Secretary Judy Taguiwalo gives its all-out support for the amendments to the existing Solo Parents’ Welfare Act to ensure that the evolving needs of solo parents are addressed. The DSWD CO-Solo Parent Employees Organization (SPEO) organized the forum to inform the new solo parent-employees and members of their rights and benefits under Republic Act 8972.
Carina Javier, DSWD CO-SPEO president also called on her fellow solo parents to be actively involved in advocating for the speedy passage of House Bill 3398 which seeks to grant additional benefits to solo parents, thereby amending RA 8972. “Dapat tayong mga stakeholders ang maging aktibo sa adbokasiya upang maamendyahan ang batas sa lalong madaling panahon. Sulatan at kausapin natin ang ating mga lokal na opisyal, mga representante sa Congress at mga senador (We as stakeholders should actively participate in our advocacy to amend the law as soon as possible. Let us write and talk to our local officials, congressmen, and senators),” Javier underscored.
Representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Working Conditions (DOLE-BWC) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also discussed their respective agencies’ policies on the availment of the 7-day parental leave, as well as programs for solo parents and their children, such as the Student Financial Assistance Programs (StuFAPs). “CHED prioritizes solo parents and their children in scholarship programs, which include State scholarship program for high school students and graduating high school students; partial scholarship; Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA); Tulong Dunong; and, Study Now, Pay Later Plan, “ Dr. Nena Asinjo expounded.
The application period is from February to April. For further information, solo parents may call CHED’s Office of Student Development and Services at telephone number 988-0001 or email The presidents of some member organizations of the Federation of Solo Parents in LuzViMin –United Solo Parents of the Philippines (FSPL-USPP), like the Provincial Federation of Solo Parents in Bulacan; Solo Parents Alliance for Community Empowerment (SPACE) of Angeles City, Pampanga; and, 4Ks Task Force on Solo Parent of Quezon City also shared their respective groups’ and LGUs’ best practices and local ordinances.

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.