The principal author of the House version of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act is confident that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the measure, which will grant solo parents in the country additional benefits and discounts on basic necessities.
In an interview on ANC’s Dateline Philippines, Agusan del Norte 1st District Representative Lawrence Fortun said the Congress has done its role by ratifying the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on Senate Bill No. 1411 and House Bill No. 8097, or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act.
“I don’t think the President would have second thoughts about signing this into law, because I remember that in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, he mentioned this, categorically in his SONA, requesting Congress to come up with important reforms to the 20-year-old Solo Parents Law,” Fortun said.
The bicam report should now be transmitted to the Office of the President, Fortun said.
The final version of the proposed law includes several provisions, such as expanding the definition of solo parents, decreasing the number of months of availing the solo parent leave, and increasing the age ceiling of the child of the solo parent for the availing of benefits.
According to the lawmaker, there are an estimated 15 million solo parents in the country who will benefit from the measure.
Additional benefits for solo parents, once signed, include a P1,000 allowance from the government and a 10% discount on certain commodities such as food supplements, vaccines, and medicines.
Solo parents will also be prioritized on low-cost housing, skills development, and PhilHealth coverage.