Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act lapses into law

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act lapses into law
Mother and baby.
Image by Public Co from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — The Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, which grants more benefits to single parents, has lapsed into law on June 4, 2022.

Under the Constitution, the president can veto a bill, sign it or let it lapse into law thirty days from the time he receives the final enrolled form.

The law, known as Republic Act (RA) 11861, allows for a P1,000 monthly cash subsidy for solo parents earning minimum wage, and a 10% discount on certain medicines and food supplements purchased by low income solo parents who have children six years and below.

Other benefits include priority in low-cost housing, coverage from Philippine Health Insurance Corp., educational scholarships for children, among others. 

RA 11861 also says that no employer shall discriminate against solo parent employees with regards to their terms and conditions of work. 

The law also grants a yearly forfeitable and non-cumulative parental leave of not more than seven days with pay for each regularized solo parent employee.

Sen Risa Hontiveros, a solo mother of four kids, said she shares the victory of the law's passage with the millions of solo parents across the country. 

"I’m intimately familiar with the feeling of not being sure how to pay for my children’s tuition, not knowing who can accompany me if one of them gets sick," Hontiveros, the principal author of the solo parents welfare bill in the Senate, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I had never felt such a strong grassroots, on-the-ground push for a bill to become law. Noong panahon ng kampanya, ipinangako nating maipapasa natin ito. (During the campaign, we vowed to pass this). As promised, we have delivered," she added. 

There are an estimated 14 to 15 million solo parents in the Philippines, with the majority of them or 95% women, a recent World Health Organization-funded study conducted by the Health Department and the University of the Philippines said. 

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