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Lawmaker files bill providing benefits for single persons

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Aug 01, 2022 5:48 pm

The single life is often an enjoyable one for those who don't want the responsibility of maintaining a relationship. But for others, being single also entails hardships, especially if they have others to care for but don't have a significant other to help with expenses.

A new proposed bill seeks to ease the burden a bit for solo breadwinners. 

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Part-list Rep. Margarita "Migs" Nograles has proposed HB 1364, which aims to give single persons more benefits and privileges in terms of educational, financial, and employment needs as well as a flexible working schedule.

This is as long as the single person has someone who is dependent on them such as minor siblings, nephews, nieces, or unemployed relatives who have disabilities.

The bill, which would be known as the "Single Persons' Welfare Act", defines a single person as "any individual who is not legally married, or to anyone who was previously married but whose marriage was subsequently annulled or declared void ab initio, legally separated, and who exercises custody on or financially supports or aids someone not his or her child."

The person would be disqualified from receiving the benefits, however, if they have entered into a valid marriage.

The bill would amend certain sections in the Republic Act No. 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act, which lapsed into law on June 4.

The Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are mandated to provide scholarship programs for solo parents as well as a full scholarship for a maximum of two children, as long as they are qualified.

The bill also allows solo parents to be entitled to monthly cash subsidy of P1,500 if they are minimum wage earners. However, they must not be a recipient of any other cash assistance from any other government programs.

Under the proposed bill, employers are also directed to provide a flexible working schedule for their single employees if they have determined that the employees are the providers of their families. Employers will also be mandated to provide single employees with a work-from-home schedule at least once a week in order for them to spend time with their families.