Proposed additional benefit for solo parents passes final reading

House Bill 8097, which proposes additional benefits for solo parents, has already passed the last reading in the House.

If enacted, there will be a 10 percent discount and a 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) exemption on the milk and diapers of children three years of age and under, who are the children of a qualified . There are also discounts on clothing, medicine, vaccines, medical and dental services for children aged six and under.

Even school supplies such as books and notebooks of children of qualified solo parents can be discounted until the child reaches the age of twenty-one. That is if the parent earns P250,000 per year or less than P21,000 per month.

The bill also mandates seven days paid leave of single parents who have served the employer for at least six months.

Under House Bill 8097, DepEd, CHED, and TESDA must provide a qualifying program for qualified solo parents, and a full school scholarship for one child.

Proposed additional benefit for solo parents passes final reading

The proposal promotes giving priority to solo parents and their children in livelihood, training, and poverty alleviation programs. It is also proposed to give tax discounts to private companies that employ at least ten qualified solo parents.

“Ang reality kasi on the ground, dahil ‘yung medyo archaic na ang atting Solo Parents Welfare law ay hardly felt naman ng solo parents ang benefits under that law,” said Rep. Lawrence Fortun, author of House Bill 8097.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines has no plans to block the proposed 7 days paid leave, but it has a reminder to lawmakers.

“Alam naman natin 90 percent ng kumpanya micro. Kalahati sarado na. ‘Yung kalahati, hindi alam kung itutuloy silang magbubukas o hindi. ‘Yun ang mga may problema diyan… Dapat hinay-hinay lang tayo sa pagpapasa ng ganyang law. Alam naman natin na ang mga kumpanya ngayon ay hirap na hirap din… The name of the game is preservation of jobs and if possible, creation of jobs. Let’s not concentrate yung mga additional cost for companies who are already suffering and a lot of them are downsizing,” said ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.