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House to OK strengthened Solo Parents Welfare Act

A LAWMAKER on Friday said the House of Representatives will immediately approve next month the proposed law seeking to strengthen the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000.

Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Alfred Delos Santos, one of the principal authors of House Bill (HB) 8097, stressed this after the House of Representatives approved the measure on second reading before adjourning last Wednesday.

Delos Santos said he was happy with the widespread support for the amendments and vowed to see to it that these will be carried in the final version of the bill.

“Marami tayong naniniwala na ang bill na ito’y susi sa pagbangon ng solo parent-led families mula sa pandemya. This is due to the bill’s features designed to give solo parents sustained forms of aid. ‘Yan ang priorities dito at hindi ang one-time dole outs,” Delos Santos said.

Among the salient points of HB 8097 are the following:

• Make leave with pay available to any solo parent employee regardless of employment status.

• Provide scholarship programs to qualified solo parents who undergo nonformal education programs and full school scholarship to one of their children.

• Establish child minding centers in all workplaces.

• Enable working mothers to practice breastfeeding in the workplace.

• Prioritize solo parents and their children in the provision of livelihood, training and poverty alleviation programs.

• Guarantee social safety assistance in times of disasters and calamities to solo parents and their children.

• Grant qualified solo parents tax and other special discounts on purchases meant to support their children.

“Ang solo parents po ang may primary right and duty na pangalagaan at itaguyod ang kanilang mga anak,” he said. “Ang trabaho naman po nating mga mambabatas ay ibigay sa solo parents ang lahat ng assistance at opportunities na kakailanganin nila upang magampanang mabuti ang tungkulin nila sa kanilang mga anak. Tayo po ang support system nila.”

Delos Santos said if the amendments will be approved, solo parents will have a strong fighting chance to uplift their circumstances and enrich their rights and privileges. “Ang ipinaglalaban po natin dito ay ang karapatan ng solo parents at ng mga anak nila na magkaroon ng magandang buhay bilang isang family unit sa ilalim ng maayos at wastong pagpapatupad ng batas.”