MANILA (Mabuhay) – Lawmakers are urging Congress to fast track the approval of a bill granting more benefits to solo parents.
Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list Gabriela) filed House Bill 2914 to amend Republic Act 8972, otherwise known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000.
De Jesus said RA 8972 failed to address the solo parents’ financial needs in the wake of increasing prices of basic commodities and services.
In addition to leave privileges under RA 8971, De Jesus said the bill would grant solo parents parental leave of not more than seven working days with pay every year.
Under the bill, solo parents will get 10 percent discount from all purchases of clothing and clothing materials for the child, for purchases made within a period of up to five years from child’s birth.
They will also get 20 percent discount from all purchases of baby’s milk, food and food supplements, for purchases made within a period of three years from the child’s birth.
Likewise, they will be granted 20 percent discount from all purchases of medicines and other medical supplements/supplies for the child, for purchases made within a period of five years from the child’s birth.
The bill provides that companies or businesses from whom discounted purchases in the immediately foregoing section are made shall be entitled to claim the said discounts as part of their business expense provided that, they maintain detailed and separate records.
Covered by the bill are those whose annual income is P250,000 and below and who have been qualified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Any person or company who violates the proposed act provisions face a fine of not more than P200,000 and may be ordered closed by the appropriate government agency.
Furthermore, any person who misrepresents his or her status or falsifies any document to avail of the benefits of the proposed act also face six months jail term and a fine of not more than P50,000.
“There is a pressing need for the state to be more involved in aiding solo parents in the rearing of their children,” De Jesus said. (MNS)