Being a parent is not easy. And doing it solo makes it harder.
No matter what’s the reason, a single parent can use a helping hand, especially for their children’s finances. This is why the Solo Parent Act was passed in 2000.
However, until now there are a lot of misconceptions about the Solo Parent ID. This has become evident when I had attended a seminar for the solo parents in our barangay. There have been worries, misunderstandings, and hesitations on getting the Solo Parent ID.
It is a pity if you as a single parent can’t take advantage of the benefits especially offered to you.
Here are the top five misconceptions to clarify.
Misconception #1: All Single Parents are Qualified
The Solo Parent Act has clearly defined the eligibility for the Solo Parent ID. So who can apply?
The Solo Parent ID is offered to single parents who:
- got pregnant as a result of rape and she decided to keep and raise the child;
- is widow or widower left alone to take responsibility for their children;
- has a spouse currently detained for at least a year for a criminal conviction;
- has a spouse with physically or mentally incapacity of helping out (a public medical practitioner should certify the medical condition of the spouse);
- got a legal separation from spouse for at least one year;
- got annulled and keeps the custody of the children;
- is unmarried and abandoned but has the children’s custody;
- any family member who had taken the full responsibility of rearing the children; and
- any other person who may not be a parent but take care and financially support the children.
The children do not have to be yours as long as you are taking the responsibility of parenthood.
In addition, only single parents with children not more than eighteen (18) years old can apply.
Though you fit a description above, but your kids are already over 18 years old and independent, you are no longer eligible. This stands even if your children are still living with you at home but they are no longer minors.
On the other hand, you can still remain eligible if your child is older than 18 years but with a mental or physical disability.
Another fact is that the single parents described above are only considered single parent if they take care of their children and the finances alone. This excludes the parents who have OFW spouses sending remittances regularly.
The Social Welfare and Development Office made it clear that they evaluate each case carefully before they approve the Solo Parent ID application. They are very particular that a single parent must fit any of the said solo parent descriptions for no less than a year.
Misconception #2: Get Your Solo Parent ID in One Day
The ID will be issued within 30 days after filing. This is to give the social workers some time to evaluate if the applicant is eligible.
What are the requirements for Solo Parent ID 2017?
- Barangay certificate declaring your residency for the last six months
- Birth certificate of your child or children
- Proof of income such as Income Tax Return, Certificate of Employment or indigency from the barangay
- Barangay certificate proving that you are a single parent (free of charge)
- An affidavit stating the circumstances for becoming a solo parent (free of charge in the municipal hall)
- Latest 1x1 picture
- Supporting documents:
- Death certificate of your spouse or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
- If you are unmarried, you have to bring an affidavit certifying that you were left to take care of your child
- Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
- Medical certificate proving the incapacity of the spouse may it be physically or mentally
How to apply for Solo Parent ID?
- Bring complete required documents to the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office. In other municipalities, it is the Social Services Development Department (SSDD) office.
- The social worker will verify your documents. They may also ask for other supporting documents. You will then be logged-in to the Registry of Solo Parents.
- Pick up your Solo Parent ID within 30 days. You have to renew your ID every year unless you are no longer a single parent.
Misconception #3: Only for the Indigent
The Solo Parent ID is for the single parents who fit the description of Republic Act No. 8972 or “Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000. This is regardless if the parent is employed or not.
In fact, there is no required salary amount. No matter how much you are earning, you are encouraged to get your Solo Parent ID.
Misconception #4: Automatically Gives Health Benefits
Let’s say your child got hospitalized. You can’t just show your Solo Parent ID and expect an instant discount. Here are three facts about the Solo Parent Health Benefit:
- You need to take your bill to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office. They will verify the bill before you can get a discount or reimbursement.
- Each municipality and city has their own ordinance about the health benefit of a single parent. What a single parent can receive in my city may not be available in another.
- The process may take time. It does not give cash as fast as your ATM.
Misconception #5: Employed Single Parents Have No Benefits
Employed single parents are entitled to have seven (7) days parental leave. However, you must be a least one (1) year employed in your current company.
This means that you can take a leave to perform parental duties and responsibilities. You can freely attend school programs, homeroom meetings, and enrollment. Aside from this, you can take care of the medical, social, spiritual and recreational needs of your child.
Another benefit is the flexible working hours. This means that you may arrive or leave work at different times provided that you follow the core policy of the company. Finally, you are also protected from workplace discrimination based on your status as a single parent.
Take note that you can’t avail these benefits unless you have a Single Parent ID.
On the other hand, working single parents who earn under the poverty line can also enjoy benefits from DOH, CHED, TESDA and NHA.
Why should you get a Solo Parent ID?
In 2012, at least 13.9 million Filipinos are single parents. They took up parenthood on their own and it is not easy. Financial needs are constant and not to mention the stigma that still exists. Single parents definitely need assistance no matter the reason for becoming one.
If you are a single parent, do not pass up the benefits and opportunities brought by the RA 8972. As a single parent, we all want the best for our kids despite our unconventional set up.
Furthermore, by registering yourself as a single parent, you can give the government an idea that there is a big population of single parents in the community.
An established number of single parents can help the local government to establish more projects. This means more relevant benefits for us and our children.
We may be solo, but we don't have to be always alone in everything. This is why the government has created a law to cut us some slack. Get a Solo Parent ID today.