MANILA, Philippines — Single parents will now have additional benefits, including subsidies, discounts, and additional work leave under Republic Act No. 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. It was enacted on June 4 without the signature of the outgoing President, Rodrigo Duterte.
The new law will provide a salary increase for solo parents who are minimum or less than the minimum wage earners, a monthly cash subsidy of P1,000, while those earning less than P250,000 will also receive a 10% discount and value-added tax exemption on baby products such as milk, diapers, vaccines, and medicine until the child is six years old.
Senior citizens or persons with disability (PWDs) acting as solo parents can also avail of the discounts on top of their other benefits. Moreover, single parents working in the government or private sector are entitled to a seven-day paid parental leave each year.
The measure also directs the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide scholarships to qualified children of solo parents.
A solo parent is defined by the measure as someone who has a sole parental care of a child or children due to: rape, death or criminal conviction of a spouse, legal or de facto separation from a spouse, abandonment.
A parent whose spouse has been working abroad for at least one year belongs to the low/semi-skilled worker category, a legal guardian who only provides support, and a pregnant woman who only provides parental care are considered single parents.
To avail of the benefits, individuals who fall into the categories must get a Solo Parent ID which can be procured at their local government unit’s Solo Parent Office.