New law gives solo parents discounts on baby essentials, PHP1000 monthly subsidies

Parent and baby. Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda
Parent and baby. Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda

Being a single parent can be pretty tough, but a new law expanding benefits for solo parents will hopefully ease that burden.

Republic Act 11861 or the “Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act” lapsed into law on July 4, amending RA 8972 or “An Act Providing for Benefits and Privileges to Solo Parents and Their Children.”

The new law officially provides new perks to solo parents such as a 10 percent discount on baby essentials such as milk, food, micronutrient supplements, and sanitary diapers, as well as medicines, vaccines, and supplements for children under 6 years of age.

Low-income solo parents, or those earning less than PHP250,000 (US$4,548) a year, are entitled to a PHP1000 subsidy (US$18.18) in cash aid each month.

The new law also shortens the eligibility period for solo parents from one year to six months. It has also expanded the definition of solo parents to include low or semi-skilled spouses of Overseas Filipino Workers who have been away from the Philippines for an uninterrupted period of at least one year.

RA 11861 also guarantees the prioritization of solo parents, especially solo mothers, in re-entering the workforce and in the government’s poverty alleviation programs. It will also grant them seven days of parental leave.

Children of solo parents may also be eligible for scholarship programs, including a full scholarship for one child in basic and tertiary educational institutions.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who sponsored the bill before its passage, welcomed the news.

The senator wrote on Facebook, “Sa mga kapwa ko solo parents, tagumpay natin ito! (To my fellow solo parents, this is our triumph!)”

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