Some three hundred eleven solo parents in the city were issued identification cards by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for the first quarter of this year pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
CSWDO officer-in-charge Liza Bulayongan reported that 179 of the solo parents issued these cards are new applicants, while 132 were renewing their previously issued cards.
She claimed that the increasing number of solo parents applying for the issuance of their required ID cards is indicative of the public’s awareness of the rights and privileges of solo parents stipulated under the Solo Parents Act or Republic Act (RA) 8972.
She added that the CSWDO continues to organize and monitor the activities of various solo parent organizations in the city to ensure they will be able to sustain these for their own benefit.
According to her, the solo parent’s organizations in the different barangays or clusters of barangays serve as a support group to its members on how they can overcome the challenges of being solo parents.
The CSWDO official called on solo parents who do not have their identification cards to immediately visit their office for them to apply for the issuance of their cards to be able to continuously enjoy the rights and privileges granted to them by the law.
RA 8972 mandated the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in coordination with local government units and a non-governmental organization (NGO) with proven track record in providing services for solo parents, to come with a comprehensive package of social welfare services for solo parents and their families to initially include livelihood development services that encompasses trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of seed capital or job placement; counselling services that include individual, per group or family counselling that will focus on the resolution of personal relationships and role context; parents effectiveness services that encompasses the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parents on early childhood development, behavior management, health care, rights and duties of parents and children; critical incident stress debriefing which includes preventive stress management, strategy designed to assist solo parents in coping with crisis situations and abuse and special projects for individuals in need of protection which include temporary shelter, counselling, legal assistance, medical care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and spiritual enrichment.
Further, the solo parents shall also be provided with medical assistance, housing benefits, educational benefits, parental leave and guarantee against work discrimination.
Bulayongan urged solo parents to visit their office for them to access assistance for them to be able to cope up with their difficult situation and sustain their productivity as citizens of the city.