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Ang Probinsyano party-list seeks water, power, medicine discounts for solo parents

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An official of the Lower House is pushing for additional benefits and privileges for solo parents to cope with the economic uncertainties brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

House Assistant Majority Floor Leader Alfred de los Santos said granting additional benefits and privileges to single parents is “timely, as many of them may have been affected by the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may find it even more difficult to make ends meet just to raise their children.”

De los Santos, representative of party-list Ang Probinsyano, expressed concern over the situation of majority of single parents especially those belonging to the “disadvantaged sector.”

“Mas mabigat kasi ang pasanin ng ating mga solo parent sa gitna ng pandemya upang matustusan ang mga pangagailangan ng kanilang mga anak, lalo na at parating ng ang pasukan sa eskwela ng mga bata,” said de los Santos.

De los Santos’ House Bill No. 5497 proposes a 2- percent fare discount privilege on domestic regular fares, subject to the implementing rules and regulations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The proposed legislation also seeks to impose a five-percent discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity, provided that monthly consumption does not exceed 100Kwh for power and 30 cubic meters for water.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker also suggested under the measure 20-percent discount on purchase of goods and services, which include medicines and medical supplies to be determined by the Department of Health; professional fees of licensed health professionals, medical and dental fees in all private hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and homes care services; and laboratory fees.

The proposed measure, however, requires solo parents to submit proof of their status to the DSWD for proper documentation and identification to be determined by the department, in order to avail of the discounts and privileges.

The DSWD is also mandated to put in place a mechanism or system of documentation and identification for single parents.

“We should put forward measures to ensure that the already difficult predicament of solo parents be made easier so that their children would not be neglected and would be care for physically, mentally and emotionally. I strongly believe this is one of the steps,” the lawmaker stressed. (JCC)