Feature: Solo parent benefits ease burden of family-raising

September 27, 2016

Are you a solo parent?

Then you would agree that raising a family by yourself is physically, mentally and financially challenging most especially when the cash on hand is limited or inadequate.

Government passed in 2000 a law that provides basic support for solo parents.

Based on the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, low income solo parents are entitled to a comprehensive package of social services which include livelihood, self-improvement and skills development, employment-related benefits (such as flexible working schedule), parental leave (7 days), psycho-social, educational, health (medical assistance from Department of Health offices) and housing (low-cost housing projects) services.

Solo parents with higher incomes can still avail the flexible working schedule, parental leaves and other services that will be determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Qualified solo parents may enjoy tax exemptions: “a single or legally separated individual who has a child, legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted, is entitled to a basic personal exemption granted to a head of family. He/She is entitled also to an additional exemption of P8,000 per qualified dependent (not exceeding four).A solo parent is not entitled to the above additional exemption if he/she takes care of a person with disability who is not his/her child, unless he/she legally adopts the same.”

See these links for details on tax exemptions: http://bit.ly/1Sh28yp and http://bit.ly/2db74pn.

These services will be available to solo parents upon the issuance of their solo parent Identification Cards from the local social welfare and development offices (based in municipalities and cities).

DSWD- Mimaropa reported that there are 69,646 or 2.7 percent of the 2,573,992 total assessed individuals claimed as solo parents which comprises of 19,722 (28.3 percent) males and 49,924 (71.7 percent) females in Mimaropa region based on the 2015 Listahanan database.

Listahanan recorded 22,604 or 1.9 percent solo parents identified as poor.

Below are the steps of application for solo parents’ ID:

Barangay certification supporting a Solo Parent’s residency in an area for the last six months;
Certificates e.g., birth certificates of children, death certificate of spouse and other appropriate documentary support and
Income tax return or any document that will establish the income level of the solo parent
Once all the papers are submitted at the local social welfare and development office, the application will be registered with an appropriate case number in the log-book Registry of Solo Parents.

The ID will be issued after 30 days from filing, valid for one year and renewable.

For more details of Solo Parents’Welfare Act, see http://bit.ly/1JOyJ8L and http://bit.ly/1QePbBz. (LP)

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