Philippine Congress Expands Benefits for Solo Parents
Republic Act 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act expands the benefits solo parents are entitled to originally given under Republic Act 8972. The State recognizes its role in promoting social justice particularly supporting solo parents in their duty in rearing their children while ensuring adherence to international agreements and national laws on families.
Among the law’s salient features include the newly-added Section 4 which provides for the categories of a solo parents namely (1) a parent who provides solo parental care and support of the child or children due to several reasons enumerated in the law, (2) spouse or any family member of an Overseas Filipino Worker, (3) unmarried mother or father who keeps and reats the child or children, (4) any legal guardian, adoptive or foster parent who solely provides parental care and support, (5) any relative within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity of the parent or legal guardian, and (6) a pregnant woman who provides sole parental care and support to her unborn child or children.
The law also adds Section 15 which provides a 10% discount and VAT Exemption on the following items: baby milk, baby food, micronutrient supplements, sanitary diapers, duly prescribed medicines and vaccines, and other medical supplements. This privilege is available from the birth of the child until he/she reaches 6 years of age and the solo parent earns less than P250,000 annually. On top of this, the law also includes provisions which cover the distribution of P1,000 cash subsidy to solo parents who earn the minimum wage or below.
The full text of the law can be accessed here.