What is our country’s law for single parents?

Republic Act No. 8972 or the “Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000”
is the Philippine law on single parents. It was promulgated on
November 7, 2000. Its implementing rules and regulations (IRR)
was approved in April 10, 2002.

What is the policy of the State regarding solo parents?
It is the policy of the State to promote the family as the
foundation of the nation, strengthen its solidarity and ensure its
total development. Towards this end, it will develop a
comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their
children to be carried out by the Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the
Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), the
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the
National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) and other related government and non-
government agencies. (Sec.2, RA 8972)

Who is considered under the law as a “solo parent”?
Any individual who falls under any of the following categories is
considered as a single parent:
[1] A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes
against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender:
Provided, That the mother keeps and raises the child;

[2] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood due to death of spouse;

[3] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood while the spouse is detained or is serving sentence
for a criminal conviction for at least one year;

[4] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood due to physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse
as certified by a public medical practitioner;

[5] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood due to legal separation or de facto separation from
spouse for at least one year, as long as he/she is entrusted with
the custody of the children;

[6] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood due to declaration of nullity or annulment of
marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as he or
she is entrusted with the custody of the children;

[7] Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of
parenthood due to abandonment of spouse for at least one

[8] Unmarried mother or father who has preferred to keep and
rear the child or children instead of having others care for them
or give them up to a welfare institution;

[9] Any other person who solely provides parental care and
support to a child or children;

[10] Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head
of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance
or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent.

A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming
benefits under this Act, such that he/she is no longer left alone
with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her
eligibility for these benefits.

Who are considered as “children” under RA 8972?
The term “children” refers to those living with and dependent
upon the solo parent for support, who are unmarried,
unemployed and not more than eighteen years of age, or even
over eighteen years but are incapable of self-support because of
mental or physical disability.

What is “parental responsibility”?
The term “parental responsibility” with respect to their minor
children refers to the rights and duties of the parents as defined
in Article 220 of the Family Code of the Philippines.”

According to Article 220 of “The Family Code of the Philippines”
a parent is defined as those exercising parental authority with
respect to the unemancipated children with the following rights
and duties:
1. Keep them in their company, to support, educate, and
instruct them by right precept and good example, and
to provide for their upbringing in keeping with their
2. Give them love and affection, advice and counsel,
companionship and understanding;
3. Provide them with moral and spiritual guidance,
inculcate in them honesty, integrity, self-discipline, self-
reliance, industry and thrift, stimulate their interest in
civic affairs, and inspire in them compliance with the
duties of citizenship;
4. Furnish them with good and wholesome educational
materials, supervise their activities, recreation and
association with others, protect them from bad
company, and prevent them from acquiring habits
detrimental to their health, studies and morals;
5. Represent them in all matters affecting their interests;
6. Demand from them respect and obedience;
7. Impose discipline on them as may be required under
the circumstances; and
8. Perform such other duties as are imposed by law upon
parents and guardians.

What are the criteria for support under RA 8972?
[1] Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls
below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic
and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the
assessment of the DSWD worker in the area is eligible for

[2] That any solo parent whose income is above the poverty
threshold can enjoy the benefits mentioned in Sections 6, 7 and
8 of RA 8972.

Does the solo parent act apply to those whose spouse is abroad?
The law did not consider this as one of the categories of solo
parent since the other spouse still exercises duties over his/her
family. However, if the other parent is abroad and has lost
contact with his/her family for a year or more, the other parent
who is left with the custody of the family, may be considered as
solo parent, provided proofs are presented to qualify as such.

A common problem of single parents is providing educational
opportunities for their children. Does RA 8972 have provision on
this issue?
The DECS, CHED and TESDA are mandated to provide the
following benefits and privileges:
(1) Scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their
children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills
education; and

(2) Nonformal education programs appropriate for solo parents
and their children.

Another problem of single parents is housing. What benefits if
any are provided under RA 8972?
Solo parents shall be given allocation in housing projects and
shall be provided with liberal terms of payment on said
government low-cost housing projects in accordance with
housing law provisions prioritizing applicants below the poverty
line as declared by the NEDA.

What about medical assistance?
The DOH shall develop a comprehensive health care program for
solo parents and their children. The program shall be
implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and
medical centers and the local government units (LGUs) through
their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health
units (RHUs).

How do I avail of the benefits under RA 8972?
You can communicate with the DSWD office of your town or city
as to the requirements.
A solo parent shall apply for a Solo Parent Identification Card
(Solo Parent ID) from the City/Municipal Social Welfare and
Development (C/MSWD) Office. Once the C/MSWD Office issues
the Solo Parent ID, a solo parent can apply for services he/she
needs from the C/MSWD Office or to specific agencies providing
such assistance/services.

1. Barangay certificate residency in the area;

2. Documents/Evidence that the applicant is a solo parent (e.g.
death certificate of spouse, declaration of nullity of marriage,
medical certificate – if incapacitated); and

3. Income Tax Return (ITR) or certification from the
barangay/municipal treasurer.


A Certificate issued by the Barangay Captain indicating the
circumstances on one’s being a solo parent.


No. The Social Worker has to complete the
assessment/evaluation of the solo parent situation. The ID will
be issued after 30 days from filing. The validity of the ID is one
year and is renewable.

What are government agencies required to provide under RA
A comprehensive package of social development and welfare
services for solo parents and their families will be developed by
coordination with local government units and a
nongovernmental organization with proven track record in
providing services for solo parents.

The DSWD must coordinate with concerned agencies the
implementation of the comprehensive package of social
development and welfare services for solo parents and their

What are included in this package of services for single parents?
The package of services will initially include:
(a) Livelihood development services which include trainings on
livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation
and the provision of seed capital or job placement.

(b) Counseling services which include individual, peer group or
family counseling. This will focus on the resolution of personal
relationship and role conflicts.

(c) Parent effectiveness services which include the provision and
expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parent on early
childhood development, behavior management, health care,
rights and duties of parents and children.

(d) Critical incidence stress debriefing which includes preventive
stress management strategy designed to assist solo parents in
coping with crisis situations and cases of abuse.

(e) Special projects for individuals in need of protection which
include temporary shelter, counseling, legal assistance, medical
care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and
spiritual enrichment.

Section 28 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of
RA 8972 requires the formation of a Review Committee.
A special review committee comprised of members from
and other related government agencies and non-
government organizations or civil society involved in the
implementation of the provisions of the Act shall be
created and headed by the DSWD for the purpose of
evaluating the efficacy and relevancy of the provisions of
the Act to the present situation. The duties and
responsibilities of the members of this Review Committee
shall be considered as part of their regular functions.


28 Malihim Street Barangay Sikatuna Village
Quezon City
0927 849 9088



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