Listen up, single parents! Those who parent their child alone can look forward to the implementation of the much-awaited Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. Specifically, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is slated to implement tax reforms because of this new law. And this is just the tip of the iceberg since more benefits from other organizations are to be expected in the future.
Take Advantage of Price Discounts
As for the BIR, they released a revenue regulation last January 18, informing all establishments providing goods and services to honor specific discounts and tax privileges to verified solo parents. Single parents with kids ages six and below earning less than Php 250,000 shall be given a 10% discount on basic necessities. Moreover, this stipulates that solo parents earning minimum wage and below will be given a Php 1,000 monthly subsidy.
Basic necessities include food supplements, children’s milk, diapers, vaccines, medicines, and other medical supplements. Furthermore, single parents do not have to pay the value-added tax (VAT) on these goods. Consequently, VAT-registered businesses are mandated by law to provide verified solo parents the net selling price for goods along with a 10% additional discount.
How to Enjoy These Generous Benefits?
Single parents who wish to take advantage of these benefits must have an official Solo Parent Identification Card (SPIC) to prove their status. When buying basic necessities, they can only avail of the discount if they present the car along with the solo parent booklet issued with the card. Solo parents can apply for these documents in their local government unit.
The BIR revenue regulation stipulating these changes was ordered to take effect 15 days after it was published to the public. Although the stamp was dated January 18, the official statement was released only in the Manila Times last January 23. Hence, the corresponding privileges are expected to commence in early February.
A Wider Definition of Solo Parents
The Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act is a win for many Filipinos who are struggling to make ends meet. This new law expands the definition of solo parents to include spouses or other family members of OFWs who work in the semi-skilled and lower-income category. They must also be working overseas, away from family members, for 12 consecutive months.
Other family members may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other qualified guardians who oversee the care of a child and are responsible for rearing them since both parents are away from the Philippines.
Other Benefits Slo Parents Can Leverage
Another good news is that solo parents are given automatic health coverage and educational scholarships (as long as the child meets the qualifying standards given by DepEd, CHED, and TESDA). They will also receive priority when securing a slot in low-cost housing projects, along with the privilege of more relaxed payment terms.
As of 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIS) recorded an estimated 14 to 15 million people as solo parents. And 95% of these solo parents are mostly women. All of these advantages outlined in the Expanded Solo Welfare Act are slated to help solo parents rear their kids and provide them with better opportunities because it is harder to navigate these complex times on just a single income.