QUEZON CITY – Fourth day from her appointment as head of the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), Undersecretary Janella Ejercito Estrada commenced a series of pre-placement visit to accredited Child Placement Agencies as partners in providing alternative child care.
In a visit to the children of House of Refuge Foundation, Usec. Estrada vowed to beef up the transition phase of the NACC to provide effective mechanisms, processes and services for alternative child care and to ensure meaningful and productive partnership with the stakeholders.
An accredited partner of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), House of Refuge provides programs and services to 19 children – nurturing them in Christian faith.”
“These kids urgently need stable and happy homes where they can be provided with opportunities to strive and to be who they want to be,” USec. Estrada said.
She explained that the new laws on the administrative adoption process, rectification of simulated birth certificates and the foundling law streamlines government functions “for a more efficient and effective alternative child care.”
“Clearly, these children are placed in a situation nobody would want to be in. But their innocence, their hopefulness and their faith that good things that will change their lives are sure to come, deeply inspires me as a public servant and as their “ate” from the Government,” Estrada stressed.
“Their high hopes, dreams and aspirations serve as an inspiration to us, and demands profound commitment from the NACC,” Estrada added.
Sec. Tulfo orders immediate crafting of IRR for new solo parents’ law
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo announced the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to draft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to operationalize Republic Act (RA) No. 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act.
RA No. 11861 amended Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000 to ensure that solo parents can reap more exclusive benefits provided by the government.
Under the expanded law, a solo parent earning minimum wage or below is entitled to a monthly cash subsidy of P1,000 from the local government unit, provided that the solo parent is not a beneficiary of any other cash assistance program; and 10% discount and exemption from the value-added tax on baby’s milk, food, micronutrient supplements, sanitary diapers, duly prescribed medicines, vaccines, and other medical supplements from the birth of the child until six years of age.
The solo parent will also be prioritized in low-cost housing projects through the National Housing Authority, with liberal terms of payment; and will be provided with automatic coverage by Philhealth.
Moreover, the solo parent can access scholarship programs through the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), but subject to eligibility and criteria qualifications. A child of the solo parent will also be entitled to a full scholarship program, provided that the child is below 22 years old.
The new law also stipulates the prioritization of solo parents, particularly the solo mothers, in re-entering the workforce, and their children, as applicable, in apprenticeship, livelihood training, among others.
The Department is also tasked to spearhead the creation of a Comprehensive Package of Social Protection Services in coordination with other national government agencies (NGAS).
Furthermore, the law stated that a solo parent with children in school will also be priority in the selection of new beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program if the income is within or below minimum wage. The solo parent may also apply for livelihood assistance under the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD.
Secretary Tulfo expressed his gratitude to Senators Imee Marcos, Risa Hontiveros, Bong Go, Miguel Zubiri, Bong Revilla, and former Senator Richard Gordon who authored this social welfare and development milestone law.
The Secretary emphasized that the new law will be of great help to solo parents, especially that they are raising their children single-handedly.
The Secretary’s directive to the TWG is for the IRR to be finalized the soonest possible time, within the 90 days prescribed period, so that the solo parents will be able to receive the benefits immediately.
With the new law in place, it is expected that more poor families headed by single parents will be assisted to have an improved quality of life. ###
DSWD to hasten provision of emergency shelter assistance for Typhoon Odette victims
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ensured that it will hasten the implementation of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for families affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette that hit Visayas and Mindanao regions in December 2021.
This, after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) granted the DSWD’s request for a special allotment amounting to over P1.5 billion for the repair of 153,410 totally damaged houses in Regions VI, VIII, X and CARAGA. Regions MIMAROPA and VII shall be covered under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) of the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Through the ESA, the DSWD will provide financial assistance worth P10,000 to augment resources of the target affected families to purchase construction materials in repairing their damaged houses.
Under the directive of DSWD Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo, the guidelines are now being prepared to guarantee the efficient and effective implementation of the ESA. In addition, concerned DSWD Field Offices were also directed to coordinate with affected local government units to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the program and ensure that their documentary requirements are complete. ###