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QC EYEING MORE BENEFITS FOR SOLO PARENTS

There is a continuing effort from the Quezon City government to expand the privileges and benefits of solo parents in the city.

Starting next school year, educational assistance provided to children of indigent solo parents will increase from P1,500 to P3,000 to effectively respond to the educational needs of these children.

The city’s welfare arm, the social services development department headed by Teresa Mariano, is eyeing some 100 indigent solo parents to benefit from the expanded educational assistance program.

SSDD also established close coordination with the scholarship and youth development program to provide children of underprivileged solo parents with opportunities to pursue college education.

The SSDD has already registered and served 4,491 solo parents from 2003 to 2010.  Of the total, 4,316 are female, most of whom are working.

District II, which is home to the majority of the city’s urban poor, has the most   number of solo parents.  Barangays registering the most number of solo parents are Holy Spirit, Tandang Sora, Batasan Hills and Bagong Silangan.

The social services development department started extending programs and services to solo parents and their children in 2003, three years after the enactment of Republic Act 8972, otherwise known as the Solo Parent Welfare Act of 2000.

To complement the law, the city government passed city ordinance SP-1807 S-2007 which enjoins all barangay officials to conduct the massive registration of solo parents in the city.

For non-working solo parents, the SSDD offers skills training programs as well as small-income generating activities for them to become self-reliant and independent.

Other than these services, the department also provides Philhealth cards so that the solo parents can avail themselves of medical assistance.

Solo parents are also given IDs to qualify for the other privileges and benefits provided for under RA 8972.

To date, the department has strengthened coordination with the city’s barangay officials for the continuous conduct of registration of solo parents.-30- Maureen Quinones, PAISO

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