Press Release
August 7, 2023

Bong Go to seek review of Solo Parents Welfare Act; urges government to properly implement law

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher "Bong" Go has called for a review of Republic Act 11861, or the "Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act", due to mounting complaints regarding its implementation.

Based on reports raised by Cong. Erwin Tulfo to him, Go pointed out that several solo parents, who should be recipients of the provisions under the law, are not getting the expected benefits.

"Marami sa mga solo parents ang hindi daw nakakatanggap ng ipinangakong P1,000 buwanang tulong at 10 porsiyento na diskwento sa mga bilihin at gamot sa ilalim ng batas," said Go.

"Nananawagan ako sa ehekutibo, sa mga ahensya at LGUs, na dapat maimplementa ng maayos ang batas para mapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga benepisyong dapat nila makuha," he appealed while adding that he intends to file a resolution calling for a hearing in aid of legislation, if necessary, to discuss and address implementation issues with agencies concerned.

Several local government units have reported issues in securing adequate budget to support the Act's provisions, and even larger cities are not being able to disburse the P1,000 monthly allowance consistently, which according to the senator, raises serious concerns.

"Pakinggan rin natin ang LGUs bakit walang mapagkunan ng pondo para maimplementa ang nakasaad sa batas. Dapat silipin ito," asked Go.

Go played a significant role as one of the authors and co-sponsors of RA 11861, which amends the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000.

"The objective of the law is to ensure that the solo parents are supported, and we must do everything in our power to ensure that the implementation aligns with this noble goal," Go remarked.

"Bilang isa sa nag-akda ng batas na ito, sisikapin natin pag-aralan mabuti kung bakit hindi naiimplementa ng maayos para maibigay ang benepisyong nararapat para sa solo parents," he added.

The provisions of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act are substantial, granting solo parents earning below P250,000 annually exemption from value-added tax, and a 10 percent discount on purchases essential for child care. These include food, diapers, milk, medicine and vaccines for children aged six years and below.

In order to implement this program, numerous government agencies are involved in providing services and advocating for solo parents. These include the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and Department of Education, among others.

Go also emphasized that the proper implementation of this law is critical, particularly for those solo parents earning minimum wage and below.

"These parents should benefit from the additional financial assistance, the 10% discount on basic necessities, and prioritization in housing and livelihood programs from the government," Go said.

Recognizing the complexity of the issue, Go has also expressed his intention to discuss the law's implementation with its principal sponsor, Senator Risa Hontiveros.

He also suggested that the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Solo Parents may be convened which is created under the law to monitor the implementation of the Act and determine vulnerabilities in the law.

"Addressing these issues should not be delayed. We need to listen and act on the concerns of solo parents," Go urged.

"We cannot ignore these issues. They are part of our community, they contribute to our society, and they need our support," he added.

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