A bill is seeking to recognize the spouses of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as “solo parents”, thereby granting them the same benefits with senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Under Senate Bill No. 1936, spouses of “low and semiskilled” overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who’ve been working abroad for more than a year will be considered under the “solo parent” category as defined by law.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros made the proposal to expand the coverage of the government assistance given to single parents and their children under Republic Act No. 8972, more known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act.
Hontiveros explained, “The reforms [I proposed] would alleviate the plight of solo parents in the country and mitigate the disadvantages that children in solo parent households have to live with.”
If the proposal gets approval, spouses of OFWs will also get to enjoy the benefits under the Solo Parent Act.
They are eligible to 20-percent discounts when buying medicines, vaccines, health supplements and other medical needs of their children under 18 years old. 20-percent discount will also be given in hospital expenses, medical consultation and laboratory fees, both in private and public health establishments. Even their children’s tuition from preschool to college, will be discounted.
The same with Persons with Disability (PWD) and senior citizens, spouses of OFWs will also get to enjoy discounts on “all private and public recreational facilities.”
Hontiveros added, “Solo parents could also claim tax amnesty and/or reduction of real estate or inheritance taxes, as well as P50,000 personal exemption from the individual income tax in addition to the existing exemption that a solo parent may claim for their children.”
According to a 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are approximately 3 million solo parents in the country; the majority of whom are mothers.