Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. has urged his colleagues to amend R.A. 9872 (Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000) to expand the benefits and privileges of single mothers and fathers and their children.
In his co-sponsorship speech, the veteran legislator stated since R.A. 9872 has been passed into law 20 years ago, circumstances have already changed for Filipino single parents. He justified the need to enact the “Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2020” to ease the burden of millions of present-day ‘Naytays,’ or single parents who take the sole responsibility of being “mother and father” in raising their children.
“Ang oras na kailangan nating ilaan upang gabayan ang kanilang maayos, responsable, makabayan, at maka-Diyos na paglago ay dapat pagtuunan at bigyan ng ibayong halaga. Kaakibat pa niyan ay ang mga gastusin para sa pagpapalaki ng ating mga anak na patuloy na tumataas ay dapat bigyan din ng pansin. Dagdag pa po dito ang iba’t ibang suliranin at pagsubok na kailangang tugunan ay hindi rin nawawala,” Revilla said.
If passed into law, the proposed measure will provide more privileges for solo parents, including discounts on certain products and services. Such benefits will significantly unburden single moms and dads of financial worries, and allow them to focus on the educational, psychological, and spiritual aspects of rearing up their children.
Bong Revilla also pointed out that the proposed law expands the definition of the term “solo parent”, increases the age of dependents, and shortens the required period of employment to enable the solo parent to avail of the benefits. The measure also proposes other services, facilities and systems to promote the welfare and well-being of both the solo parents and their children.
He also stated that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), who has been at the forefront of implementing RA 8972, along with the Department of Health (DOH) and other key government agencies, as well as private sectors, support the amendment of the law.
“With the commitment of the President to grant additional benefits to solo parents as promised during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), I am optimistic that all solo parents nationwide will also be able to enjoy such benefits soon,” Revilla said.
In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (DOH) and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) estimated the number of solo parents at around fourteen (14) million, 95% of which are women. Revilla said that since these figures have definitely increased, the swift action of the government is certainly expected./Stacy Ang