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SP APPROVES SOLO PARENT ORDINANCE

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte recently approved Provincial Ordinance No. 515-2019, ESTABLISHING PROGRAMS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RA 8972, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “THE SOLO PARENTS' WELFARE ACT OF 2000” IN THE PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Under the said ordinance, authored by Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, benefits and privileges of solo parents were itemized.

The provincial government now has a Comprehensive Package of Programs, Services and Benefits for solo parents and their families. These included:

a) Livelihood development services which include free trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of job placement;

b) Provision of seed capital/financial assistance for starting up a small-scale business in the amount of not less than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00).

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

d) 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.

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

f) 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.

g) If working, the employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents: Provided, That the same shall not affect individual and company productivity: Provided, further, That any employer may request exemption from the above requirements from the DOLE on certain meritorious grounds.

h) Non-discrimination by employer against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.

i) In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year; and can be availed of either in consecutive or non-consecutive days. It is not convertible to cash.

j) The province shall provide the following educational benefits: (1) scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education; and (2) Non-formal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children.

k) 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.

l) A comprehensive health care program for solo parents and their children.

m) Provision of medical assistance for hospitalization and medicine.

The ordinance applies to any solo parent residing in the province of Agusan del Norte for at least six months with valid Solo Parent ID. 

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