In response to the increasing number of solo parents, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in coordination with the Federation of Solo Parents Luzvimin (FSPL), is conducting the First National Solo Parents’ Summit to push for the amendments to Republic Act 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.

A World Health Organization-funded study by the Department of Health (DOH) and the University of the Philippines – National Institute for Health (UP-NIH) conducted in March 2007 places the number of solo parents at 14 to 15 percent of estimated 94 million Filipinos, which is about 14 million.

Taking off from this study, the FSPL estimates the current number of solo parents at an estimated 15 million, 95 percent of whom are women.

To be attended by an estimated 300 solo parent-leaders, advocates and representatives of different government agencies and local government units (LGUs), the Summit will be held on July 14, 2018 (Saturday), from 8 AM – 5:30 PMat the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Gym, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City.

The Summit is a one-day national event that aims to provide a venue for local implementers, solo parent leaders/ advocates and stakeholders to engage in interactive discussion on the issues and concerns affecting the sector; and come-up with a concrete plan of action in advocating the amendments.

According to DSWD Secretary Virginia N. Orogo, the amendments to RA 8972 is among the priority legislative measures being advocated by the Department.

“Solo parents are considered a vulnerable sector of society since raising children on your own is a herculean task, hence, the national and LGUs should provide them with the necessary assistance to help them cope with the challenges of solo parenthood,” Sec. Orogo explained.

Sec. Orogo also urged LGUs to improve social services for solo parents, especially in the barangay level.

“Isang konkretong tulong na dapat ibigay sa mga solo parents ay ang pagtatayo ng mga day care at child minding centers sa mga barangay kung saan maaaring iwanan ang kanilang mga anak para makapaghanap-buhay sila (One concrete help that should be given to solo parents is the establishment of day care and child minding centers in the barangay, where they could leave their children while they are working).

FSPL and DSWD Central Office Solo Parent-Employees Organization (DSWD CO- SPEO) president Carina Javier said that there are currently 18 bills filed in Congress, and five bills in the Senate seeking to amend RA 8972. FSPL is the umbrella organization of 17 solo parent organizations all over the country.

Among the amendments being lobbied by FSPL and other solo parent organizations are the following:

  1. 20% discount from all purchases of clothing and clothing material for the child for purchases made from child’s birth until 12 years of age;
  2. 20% discount from all purchases of baby’s milk, food, food supplements and sanitary diapers for purchases made from the child’s birth until three (3) years of age;
  3. 20% discount from all purchases of medicines, vaccines and other medical supplement, supplies, accessories and equipment for the child, for purchases made from the child’s birth until eighteen (18) years of age;
  4. 20% discount from all purchases of the child’s basic necessities;
  5. 20% discount from all purchases of school supplies for the child, for purchases made from the child’s birth until twenty one (21) years of age;
  6. 20% discount from tuition fees per child who are in the college level in both private and public colleges and universities and schools, on top of any scholarship grants if any;
  7. 20% discount from hospital bill of the solo parent or his/her child if admitted for medical care and attention, both in private and public hospitals;
  8. Tax amnesty and/or reduction of real estate or inheritance taxes of solo parents;
  9. 20% discount on consultation and laboratory diagnostic fees and purchase of medicines for solo parents and their dependents;
  10. Basic personal exemption from individual income tax in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (php 50,000.00) in addition to the existing exemption that the solo parent may claim for their children;
  11. At least 20% discount from all private and public recreational facilities provided that the discount can only be availed when the solo parent and children are together;
  12. Availment of seven (7) day parental leave with pay for solo parents in the private or government sector who have rendered at least six (6) months of service regardless of employment status.
  13. Reduction of waiting period to avail of the Solo Parent Identification Card from one year to six months. ###