Mabibilang lang siguro the number of people who really want to become solo parents right from the start. Majority of the millions of solo parents (there’s about 14 million solo parents in the country, according National Institutes of Health data) probably became solo parents because of the various circumstances in their lives, and not by choice.
Being a solo parent is a huge task – my favorite line most days is “fuck my life“. There’s just no end to it. When I get off work, I have to take care of Xavy. I can’t get a break on my rest days as I have to work on my other jobs. Which is why every now and then I take out of town vacations on my own for a few days, ’cause if I don’t I think I’ll go insane. Anyways, being a solo parent comes with some benefits (thank goodness for the legistrators who made this happen). We have the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000 or Republic Act No. 8972. One of the it’s benefits is the additional seven (7) days solo parent leave if you’re working.
The thing is you just have to get your solo parent ID from your local DSWD office. But wait, are you qualified? Technically a solo parent is any individual who has the sole responsibility of caring for a child, you and your husband (or boyfriend) are separated (recognized by the court or not), your spouse has passed on, or any other circumstance that has left you and the child on your own. I heard from the local social worker though that if you’re living with someone (if you have a new partner now), then you’re not qualified.
So here’s how I got mine:
- Get all the requirements:
- Barangay Clearance – I had to pay for the documentary stamp
- Xavy’s PSO issued birth certificate – I think I paid P150 at the PSO
- Latest BIR Form 2316 from my employer
- Other documents proving your solo parent status such as death certificate or declaration of nullity of marriage or a medical certificate for parents with a spouse who is incapacitated.
- Solo Parent ID application form – got this at the social worker’s office.
- Submit all the requirements. The social worker interviewed me – asking the all the whys and what happened. She then told me to come back after two (2) weeks. She needed to visit our house and interview neighbors to confirm the story (but she never did visit). I got the card after a month (I was too busy). Then I had to go to the City Mayor’s office to personally have the card signed by the city mayor.
So what does the ID actually give me other than the additional seven (7) days leave?
- Flexible work schedule
The benefit of a flexible work schedule can mean that you may ask your employer for an earlier or later time-in and time-out to suit your needs as a solo parent. This is considering that it will not affect core work hours (as defined by the employer) and individual and company productivity.
- Protection against work discrimination
“No employer shall discriminate against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status,” as stated in RA 8972.
- If applicable, additional support and assistance
If the parent falls below the poverty threshold (as set by the National Economic and Development Authority) and is deemed eligible by a DSWD worker, the parent can avail of educational, housing, and medical benefits and assistance from the following agencies: Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the National Housing Authority (NHA).
You can read the full article here.