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DSWD launches pilot SOLo parents program in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu

DSWD SOLo parents program
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary for Innovations Edu Punay, together with DSWD Field Office-7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan on Thursday (February 15) for the pilot implementation of the Strengthening Opportunities for Lone Parents or Program SOLo in the city.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officially rolled out the pilot implementation of the Strengthening Opportunities for Lone Parents or Program SOLo, a comprehensive program designed to enable solo parents to perform their parental roles during a ceremonial program on Thursday (February 15) at the Lapu-Lapu City Hall in Cebu Province.

Part of the launching was the signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to commence the program implementation, create awareness, and amplify the need to support solo parents and their children/dependents in their locality.

The MOA was signed by DSWD Undersecretary for Innovations Edu Punay, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, and DSWD Field Office-7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero. Witnessing the MOA signing were Social Technology Bureau Officer-in-Charge Assistant Bureau Director Helen Y. Suzara, representatives of the National Council for Solo Parents – Cebu Chapter, officers of the Solo Parent Organization officers, and other stakeholders.

In his message, Undersecretary Punay explained that the Program SOLo is the agency’s support for the solo parents’ welfare by creating opportunities for them to fulfill their roles as parents.

“Personally, I know solo parents will do everything for their children, they dedicate their entire life to their children, to make a better future for them… We are here to support you and I know for a fact that this program will benefit our solo parents and ultimately, their children,” Usec. Punay said.

Usec. Punay also expressed his gratitude to partner-stakeholders for joining hands with the DSWD in pursuit of providing an enabling environment for solo parents and their children and families.

“Thank you for accepting the challenge, [and] making this journey with us for the benefit of our solo parents. Maraming salamat at magsama sama tayo sa pagsulong ng Bagong Pilipinas kung saan ang solo parents kasama sa bulnerableng sektor ay may maayos na pamumuhay [Thank you very much, and let us come together in advancing the New Philippines, where solo parents, as part of the vulnerable sector, can have a decent life],” the DSWD senior official said.

In a video message, Asst. Secretary for Operations Group Ada Colico, who is the alternate chairperson of the Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (IACMC) for the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, said lone parents are considered vulnerable members of society ‘due to their precarious situation’ and shared the relevance of the newest initiative for the solo parent sector.

“This Program SOLo introduces innovations on psychosocial interventions to ensure emotional support, alternative care arrangements for children/dependents and counter the stigma and discrimination in the community in order to help Solo-Parent Families enjoy a “matatag’’ [secure], “maginhawa” [comfortable], and “panatag na buhay” [strongly rooted],” Asst. Sec. Colico pointed out.

The alternate chairperson of the IACMC for solo parents’ welfare also emphasized that the Program SOLo is a contribution of the DSWD in implementing Republic Act (RA) No. 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act as it complements the services mandated by the law.

Under the program, the DSWD and its partners will provide client-centered family case management and service delivery, establish parenting and emotional support systems for solo parents, and promote developmental interventions for their children.

According to Asst. Sec. Colico, the DSWD is committed to fostering and maintaining a sustained partnership with local government units (LGUs), as they play an important role in efficiently delivering services to solo parents at the grassroots level.

Among the target clients of this program are solo parents with two to three children below 22 years old (non-working), solo parents and their families residing within proximity to each other, and solo parents of diverse categories as identified by RA 11861.

Aside from Lapu-Lapu City, the Program SOLo will also be pilot-tested in Anda, Pangasinan and Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

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