Summit staged for solo parents
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - November 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-7, recognizing the need to further enhance the awareness of beneficiaries of the Solo Parents Welfare Act and also on the proposed amendments, has organized a series of summits through its Program Management Bureau.

The Visayas summit was held in Cebu last November 15 and 16 that was attended by various concerned government agencies.

The Federation of Solo Parents Luzvimin (FSPL), the umbrella organization of 26 solo parents-associations nationwide, including the DSWD CO-SPEO and solo parent –employees’ organizations of Field Offices NCR, Region 3, Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Regions 6, 8 and 11, shall mobilize its member organizations in these areas to push for the passage of the amendment to RA 8972.

More than 18 years ago, Republic Act 8972 was enacted to assist solo parents to cope with their situation.

Former President Joseph Estrada, on November 7, 2000, has signed the law while the Implementing Rules and Regulations were approved on April 10, 2002.

However, the provisions of this law are not being widely implemented because majority of local government units allegedly are either not aware that RA 8972 exists or they lack the necessary manpower and resources to conduct a massive advocacy/information campaign, or they simply lack the political will to implement concrete programs and services for their solo parent constituents.

Meanwhile, today’s solo parents face several challenges ranging from financial/economic, mental, emotional, physical to psychosocial.

Hence, the role of LGUs is crucial since the full implementation of the law’s provisions rest on their shoulders, specifically with the Local Social Welfare Development Offices (LSWDOs), which most often lack the trained personnel to address the numerous concerns of solo parents in their jurisdictions.

“As the lead agency in the monitoring of RA 8972, the DSWD continuously advocates for the law’s amendment, as one of the department’s priority legislative measures. DSWD chairs the Special Review Committee on Solo Parents (SRC-SP), an inter-agency body comprising national government agencies tasked with implementing the Comprehensive Psycho-Social Programs and Services for Solo Parents and their Children,” said DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala, in a statement.

Since Geamala took over the leadership of DSWD-7 in January this year, she has been supportive of organizing the solo parents.

She has envisioned an umbrella organization of solo parents and members of the Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities associations in Region 7.

The summit’s objectives include providing a venue for local implementers, solo parents organizations, advocates and stakeholders to engage in interactive discussion on the issues affecting the sector; pushing for the amendments to RA 8972 currently pending in Congress and Senate; and providing programs and services from various government agencies to the participants.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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