A lawmaker in the Philippines has filed a bill seeking additional benefits and privileges for single Filipinos.
Representative Margarita Ignacia Nograles of the PBA party-list proposed the Single Persons’ Welfare Act, which would grant scholarships, monthly subsidies, extra days off and flexible working schedules to Filipinos without a partner.
Officially filed on July 6 as House Bill 1364, the proposal would tap government and non-government agencies to develop a comprehensive program of services that will aid single persons and their dependents.
The bill, which serves as an amendment to the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. defines single persons as individuals who are not legally married or who were previously married but whose marriage was subsequently annulled or declared void, those who are legally separated and those who exercise custody on or financially support or aid someone who is not their own child.
According to Nograles, single persons deserve additional perks as most of them act as breadwinners in their households.
“In almost all cases nationwide, many of such single individuals function like a solo parent and bears the most burden in the family,” she was quoted as saying.
“The older children usually support the schooling of their younger siblings. The unmarried or single children, on the other hand, more often than not, support their parents especially when the latter are advancing in age or are in custody of relatives who have been limited by disabilities.”
She further explained that some unmarried individuals provide “financial support for the children of their siblings, or serve as guardians in cases where their siblings are abroad or are financially incapable of supporting their own children.”
All single Filipinos with dependents would be covered by the bill, unless they are already covered by Republic Act 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, which grants more benefits to single parents.
Under the proposed bill, single Filipinos would get scholarships, a monthly cash subsidy of 1,500 Philippine pesos (approximately $27) for those earning minimum wage and flexible working schedules with opportunities to work from home.
A beneficiary would lose eligibility and their benefits upon marriage.