Benefits of single parents under the Solo Parent Act

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2018   •   8186

(file photo)

A solo parent is any individual who assumes the sole responsibility of raising a child or children.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are more than 17 million solo parents in the country.

Marivic Ido has been struggling in raising her two-year old child after her partner abandoned them.

She shared the ordeals that a single parent like her has to face.

“Walang trabaho tapos ayaw din ipagamit apelyido niya kaya apelyido ko na rin,’ Marivic said about the father of her child. “Mahirap, at least andiyan iyong mga kapatid mo, magulang mo umaagapay sa iyo,” she said.

The increasing number of Filipino single parents has led the passage of the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2002.

The Solo Parents Act was enacted to provide a comprehensive program for single parents and their children. It covers fathers or mothers who are raising their children by themselves, either because of the death of the spouse, abandonment, separation or even those who have children as a result of rape.

The law also considers as solo parent those who are left to care for children not their own, such as nephews, nieces or godchildren.

Under the measure, solo parents are entitled to have flexible work schedules as long as it will not affect individual and company productivity; solo parent employees will also get parental leave of not more than seven working days each year to enable him or her to perform physical parental duties and responsibilities.

Solo parents who are below poverty threshold are also entitled to receive livelihood assistance as well as psychological, security and educational assistance.

People eligible under the Solo Parent’s Act should get a solo-parent ID to be able to claim the said benefits.

Upon hearing of the passage of this law, Marivic said, she immediately applied for an identification card.

However, she still hasn’t gotten one.

According to a federation of solo parents, ID application should not take longer than 30 days if applicants have presented complete documents and requirements.

 “Kung titignan natin ang batas, based doon sa Republic Act 8972 naglalayon ito ng 30 days kasi nga may mga proseso. Pero may mga sitwasyon kasi na kumpleto ng requirements at pinatutunayan na talagang solo parent at siya naman ay nagta- trabaho din ay nabibigyan ito ng mas mabilis, iyong iba nga mayroon pang 7 days,’ explained Josie Velasco, the vice president of the Federation of Solo Parents, Luxvimin Inc.

To get a solo parent ID, applicants should present documents such as barangay certificate certifying solo parent’s residency in the village for at least six months; income tax return or any document establishing the income level of the solo parent; death certificate of spouse and annulment of marriage.

 In Quezon City alone, there are around half a million solo parents but only 21,000 are registered ID holders.

 “In Quezon City, nakapagpasa  na ng 20 percent (discount) para sa mga pagkain, restaurant establishment, ganoon din ang Bulacan , Angeles, ang Baguio and Naga. Nabibigyan pa sila ng pagkakataon na mapa- priority rin naman sila sa mga livelihood program, education,’ Velasco noted.

The federation of solo parents assured that they will continue to push for additional benefits to support single parents in their fight for a better life for themselves and their children. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

PSA: Nat’l ID mass registration to continue despite lack of funds

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the mass registration for the national ID system will continue despite the lack of funds.

According to the PSA, they might not reach the target number of Filipinos that will be registered by next year due to limited funds.

The PSA said the P5.7 billion budget is needed by next year.

Meanwhile, they are still confirming if the allocated budget for the Philippine Identification System (Philsys) is only around P3 billion in the 2020 proposed national budget.

“Kasi pinakita na doon sa mga senators ang magiging effect kapag ito lang ang budget versus kapag binigay ng buo ang budget na hinihingi ng Philsys. So kapag medyo maliit, may delay sa registration (We already showed the senators the possible effect between the limited budget versus the budget requested by Philsys. So if the budget is limited, there will be a delay in the registration) which we do not want to happen,” according to Atty. Lourdines dela Cruz, deputy national statistician of the Philsys Registry Office.

Nevertheless, the PSA assured that they will continue with the program where they target to register over 100 million Filipinos by mid-2020.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

PH Inflation further eases to 0.8% in October

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s headline inflation further eased to 0.8 percent in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

The PSA said the latest inflation figure is lower than the 0.9 percent recorded in September, and a sharp slide compared to the 6.7 percent in October 2018.

October’s inflation rate is the slowest in more than three years, bringing the year-to-date inflation to 2.6 percent.

Inflation means the rate of increase in prices of goods and services.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the downtrend in the latest inflation was primarily due to the annual drop in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as transportation costs.

Slower increases in rates of water, housing, gas, electricity, and other fuels were also noted, as well as in household equipment and routine maintenance, and health and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.

Mapa added that rice prices also maintained its year-on-year decline, with a 9.7 percent drop for the six-straight month, while transport expenses also settled lower compared to last year.

Data from the PSA also showed that inflation was higher in Metro Manila where prices of basic commodities increased by 1.3 percent. Prices in regions, meanwhile, moved slower in an average of 0.7 percent.

Malacañang welcomed the slower inflation rate but assured it will continue to monitor the prices of basic commodities especially during the holiday season.

“As inflation continues to drop, the current government will continue to not let its guard down in monitoring the prices of basic commodities, especially now that we are in the ber months, approaching Christmas season,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also welcomed the latest inflation rate, attributing it to the government’s drive and focus in its anti-inflationary efforts this year.

“We hope to further keep inflation manageable and within the government’s target,” NEDA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro said in a separate statement.

She, however, warned that the country must be in the lookout for upside risks such as cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), which have been observed so far in Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, and Quezon City.

“The livestock industry in the said ASF-stricken areas, which accounts for 21.7 percent of the country’s total hog production last year, remains at high risk. The government and private companies must collaborate to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease,” Navarro said.

She also urged meat processing plants to enforce more stringent bio-security measures, and expand and place quarantine checkpoints and disinfection facilities in key gateways such as seaports, airports, and expressways.

Bangko Sentral to produce cards for PH nat’l IDs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has announced it will produce the 116 million blank cards to be used by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The BSP said it has signed a memorandum of agreement with the PSA on Monday for the production of the cards.

Under the agreement, the BSP will be supplying the cards for “Phil IDs” that are non-transferable to be issued to all Philippine citizens or resident aliens registered under the PhilSys.

BSP will also provide the necessary equipment and space for the embedding of personal information on to the blank cards to be done by the PSA.

The PSA’s roles under the deal, on the other hand, will include managing the PhilSys database, ensuring the availability, confidentiality, integrity, accuracy and readiness of the data that will be placed in the cards, as well as the undertaking of the personalization, quality checking and the distribution of the national IDs.

Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, mandates the establishment of the PhilSys for all Filipinos and foreigners who reside in the country.

The PSA is the law’s primary implementing agency.

The law seeks to harmonize, integrate and interconnect the redundant government-issued IDs by establishing a unified ID system.

The national ID will contain the cardholder’s PhilSys number and full name as well as facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type, and address; biometric information, including fingerprints, iris scan, will also be in the card.

Information on marital status, mobile number and email address will be optional.

The BSP said producing the blank cards for the national IDs will cost the PSA around P3.4 billion or P30 per piece. The central bank also assured that the cards will have optical variable security and other features required by the PSA.

The cards will be provided free to citizens.

The PSA earlier said that by 2022, around 100 million cards will be issued to Filipinos and resident aliens.

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