Are You A Single Parent? Know Your Benefits And Privileges Under The Solo Parent Act of the Philippines

It’s never too easy to be a single parent. Besides raising your kid alone, you need to work harder than others just to give what’s best for your child.

While being a solo parent can be difficult, the passage of RA 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000 has somehow made it rewarding.
The bill was signed into law on November 7, 2000 and took effect on November 28, 2000. However, the rules and regulations (IRR) was be implemented on April 2002.
What is the Solo Parent’s Welfare Act?

Republic Act 8972 was enacted to provide a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children. This law covers fathers or mothers who raise their children by themselves, either because of the death of a spouse, abandonment, separation, or even those who have children as a result of rape.
This law also considers those who are left to care for other children, such as nephews, nieces, or godchildren. So long as you are a person solely responsible for the upbringing of a child, you are considered a solo parent.
Who are the People Considered as Solo Parent?

A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender, provided that mother keeps and raises the child.
• Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to the following circumstances.
– Due to death of spouse
– Spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one year.
– Physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner.
– Legal separation from spouse for at least one year, as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody        of the children.
– Declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as
he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children.
What are the Conditions for the Termination of the Privileges of a Solo Parent?

A change in the status or circumstances of the parent claiming benefits under this Act, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for benefits such as change in the status with marriage, the concerned parent is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood.
What are the Criteria for Support?
Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance. A Solo Parent can directly inquire from the following agencies to avail of their services:
• Health Services (DOH)
• Educational Services (CHED, TESDA)
• Housing (NHA)
• Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE, CSC)
What are the Requirements in Acquiring a Solo Parent I.D?
1. Barangay certificate residency in the area;
2. Documents/Evidence that the applicant is a solo parent (e.g. death certificate of spouse, declaration of nullity of marriage, medical certificate – if incapacitated); and
3. Income Tax Return (ITR) or certification from the barangay/municipal treasurer.
What Documents/Proof will a Solo Parent present if he/she has a Child or separated from Husband/Wife?
A Certificate issued by the Barangay Captain indicating the circumstances on one’s being a solo parent.
If a Solo Parent files the application, can an I.D be secured right away?
No. Parental leave is non-cumulative and can be availed only during the current year. Further, it can only be availed after the issuance of the Solo Parent ID.
What is Parental Leave?
Parental Leave refers to leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable said parent to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required as provided under Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 08, series 2004.
Is Parental Leave Retroactive since the Law took effect last November 2000?
No. Parental leave is non-cumulative and can be availed only
during the current year. Further, it can only be availed after the issuance of the Solo Parent ID.
Is the 7-Day Parental Leave in Addition to the existing 3-Day Special Leave Privilege?
The law clearly indicates that the granting of the 7-day parental leave is on top of the 3-day special leave and other mandatory leave benefits.
Can a Solo Parent Apply for a Parental Leave for any Child?
Yes, as long as the child is living with him/her, dependent for support, unmarried, unemployed and below 18 years old, or 18 years old and above but is incapable of self-support and/or with physical/mental defect/disability.
What are the Conditions for granting Parental Leave to Solo Parents?
• The solo parent must have rendered government service for a least one (1) year, whether continuous or broken, reckoned at the time of the effectivity of the law on September 22, 2002, regardless of the employment status.
• The parental leave shall be availed of every year and shall not be convertible to cash. If not availed within the calendar year, said privilege shall be forfeited within the same year.
• The parental leave shall be availed of on a continuous or staggered basis, subject to the approval of the Administrator. In this regard, the solo parent shall submit the application for parental leave at least one (1) week prior to availing the solo parent leave, except on emergency cases.
• The solo parent employee may avail of parental leave under any of the following circumstances:
– Attend to personal milestones of a child such as birthday, communion, graduation and other
similar events;
– Perform parental obligations such as enrollment and attendance in school programs, PTA
meetings and the like;
Attend to medical social, spiritual and recreational needs of the child;
– Other similar circumstances necessary in the performance of parental duties and responsibilities,
where physical presence of the parent is required.
• The head of agency/office concerned may determine whether granting of parental leave is proper or may conduct the necessary investigation to ascertain if grounds for termination and withdrawal of the privilege exist.
Can a Solo Parent avail of the Maternity Leave?
There is no provision in the law that there is a maternity leave for Solo Parents, however, other laws can be applied.

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