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DSWD to strengthen inter-agency efforts for Expanded Solo Parents’ Act

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Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian will convene the Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee (IACMC) to ensure the immediate enforcement of Republic Act (RA) 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

“Ang importante yung mga ibang ahensya na nandoon sa dapat naatasang gumawa ng kani-kanilang mga plano katulad ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), dapat lahat yon meron na silang mga comprehensive packages para sa solo parents,” Secretary Gatchalian said in a radio interview Friday (April 26).

(What’s important are the other agencies tasked with creating their respective plans, like TESDA and CHED. They should all have comprehensive packages for solo parents.)

The DSWD chief told Radyo Pilipinas program ‘Punto Asintado Reload’ hosted by Partylist Representative Erwin Tulfo and Aljo Bendijo that the members of the IACMC shall create their respective guidelines for the implementation of the comprehensive package of social protection services stated in the expanded law.

“Ang gagawin natin Cong. Erwin, you have my word on it, I will schinter-agency effortsedule bago—narinig ko kasi… yun nga tama may congressional oversight itong batas na to—bago pa ma-convene yon, mauuna na kami magpa-convene ng coordination meeting with Department of Health (DOH),
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). I’ll do immediately next week, kasi na-promulgate na yung IRR so dapat lahat kami kumikilos na,” the DSWD chief added.

(What we’ll do, Cong. Erwin, you have my word on it, I will schedule—I heard that there is indeed a congressional oversight on this law—before that convenes, we will first convene a coordination meeting with DOH, DTI, DILG. I’ll do it immediately next week because the IRR has
already been promulgated so we all should be moving forward.)

Republic Act 11861, which amended RA 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000, promotes the rights of Filipino solo parents and ensures that they can receive adequate social protection programs from the government. The IRR of the expanded law was signed on Sept. 20, 2022.

Under the expanded law, solo parents who are earning less than P250,000 annually are entitled to a 10 percent discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) on their child’s milk, food, micronutrient supplements, sanitary diapers, duly prescribed medicines, vaccines, as well as other medical supplements from the birth of the child until they turn 6 years old.

On the part of DSWD, Secretary Gatchalian pointed out that the agency has been prioritizing solo parents in its various programs and services.

“Like dito sa DSWD Cong. Erwin, priority natin dito sa Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at sa Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). AICS is the financial assistance, di ba? And yung sa SLP itong mga solo parents natin na verified na may card bearing solo parent, so priority na natin sila,” the DSWD chief said.

(Just like here in DSWD, Cong. Erwin, we are prioritizing them in the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). AICS provides financial assistance and for the SLP, we are prioritizing solo parents who are verified and have a solo parent card.)

Other benefits provided under the law are the monthly cash subsidy of P1,000 from their respective local government units; prioritization in low-cost housing projects through the National Housing Authority (NHA) and automatic coverage under PhilHealth’s National Health Insurance program.

RA11861 also provides access to scholarships and other educational programs of the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others.

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