I am sure not a lot of solo parents are aware that there is such thing as RA 8972 also known as the “Solo Parent’s Welfare Act of 2000“. Oh well, there is. And if it wasn’t for one of my colleagues who has been exercising this right, I wouldn’t have known either.
So according to Atty. Nikki Jimeno on Smart Parenting, Republic Act 8972, or the “Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000”, was enacted to provide a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children. This law covers fathers or mothers who raise their children by themselves, either because of the death of a spouse, abandonment, separation, or even those who have children as a result of rape. This law also considers as a solo parent those who are left to care for children not their own, such as nephews, nieces, or godchildren. So long as you are a person solely responsible for the upbringing of a child, you are considered a solo parent under this Act.
Solo parents who meet the criteria given by the law, they are entitled to the following benefits:
(1) a flexible work schedule,
(2) protection against discrimination in the work place, and
(3) an additional seven-day parental leave on top of the leave privileges existing under law.
There are other benefits like the housing and medical assistance but I don’t want to go into details about those for now. It’s good that our company has experience with employees who exercised their solo parents benefits. But if you’re not sure if your company will allow the additional 7 days solo parents leave, under the law, you are entitled to it, provided that:
(a) You have rendered at least one (1) year of service in the company, whether continuous or broken;
(b) You have notified your employer of the availment thereof within a reasonable time period; and
(c) You presented a Solo Parent Identification Card to your employer.
I do qualify for the points a-b. Now to get that Solo Parent Identification Card is the tricky thing. I went to City Social Welfare office and the social worker I talked to was not friendly at all. I think she stereotyped me as one of those call center agents who would apply for the Solo Parent ID so they could just enjoy it. I had to insist that it was our right as solo parents, the law will not question how we use these days.
So, according to the social worker, they have to do a case study which could last 2 months (according to her coz she has like 20 case studies pending under her assigned area). I was told to submit Xavier’s birth certificate and bring a 1×1 photo ID. It might be different for your local DSWD but just note that this Solo Parent ID has to be renewed every year.