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Go files bill seeking more benefits for solo parents

July 16, 2019 - Tuesday 3:07 PM by MDM

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has filed a bill that aims to provide additional benefits and privileges to some 14 million solo parents in the country, helping them ease the burden of single-handedly raising their children. 

Senate Bill No. 206, which aims to amend the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000, states that the benefits and privileges granted by the existing law “are not sufficient to provide for the needs of the single parents who are both the breadwinner and the caregiver of the family.”

As part of his legislative agenda aimed at helping the Duterte administration achieve positive genuine change felt by all Filipinos, Go personally filed this bill on July 2 together with his other priority legislative measures. 

Inuna ko po ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong pinaka-nangangailangan ng atensyon mula sa gobyerno. Ang mga ito ay para sa mga may sakit, mga ordinaryong manggagawa, mga biktima ng kalamidad, mga pamilyang nangangailangan ng suporta, at mga kabataan na pagasa ng ating bayan. Ito ang serbisyong ipinangako ko sa inyo, serbisyo at pagmamalasakit na dapat ramdam kahit saang dako ng bansa,” he said, referring to the first 10 legislative measures he filed.

(I prioritized the Filipinos who are in greatest need of attention from government. These bills are for those who are sick, ordinary workers, victims of calamities, families that need support, and the youth who are the hope of our nation. This is the service I promised you, service and concern that should be felt anywhere in the country.)

Senate bill No. 206 if passed into law grants solo parents additional special discounts in purchases, such as 10 percent from clothes for babies up to 2 years old, 15 percent from baby’s milk and food up to 2 years old, and 15 percent from medicine up to 5 years old. 

Children of solo parents will also enjoy 10 percent tuition discount in public and private schools from grade one to college and 20 percent discount from school supplies until 21 years old.

Before solo parents could avail themselves of the privileges, however, they must apply for a Solo Parent Identification Card from the Local Social Welfare and Development Office and present the card to the companies and establishments from whom discounted purchases are made.

The companies and establishments are likewise allowed to claim the discounts as part of their business expense.

SB 206 states as well that amnesty or reduction of real estate and inheritance taxes will be given to solo parents, and P50,000 will be added to their exemption from individual income tax.

Employment benefits are also included in the proposal. Under the existing law, solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one year shall be granted parental leave of not more than seven working days. Go’s bill lowers the required length of service to six months and specifies that the leave should be granted “with pay.”