City’s solo parents may soon enjoy more privileges

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By Glenda Tayona

ILOILO City – “In a fast-paced society, time is an important commodity that a single or solo parent cannot afford.”

With this explanation, Councilor Lyndon Acap filed a proposed ordinance giving privileges to single or solo parents in this city on top of what’s provided by Republic Act 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act.

Under the proposed “Single-Parent Ordinance of the City of Iloilo”, solo parents would have the following privileges:

• use of express / priority / special lane

• use of priority parking space

• use of special / priority seats in all kinds of public convenience

Introduced during the Monday’s regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the proposed ordinance was approved on first reading and was referred to the committee on women and family relations headed by Councilor Liezl Joy Zulueta Salazar.

A single parent has to present an identification card issued by the city government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to avail himself/herself of the additional privileges, said Acap.

To discuss other possible privileges for solo parents, Acap said he would be meeting resource persons from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and other concerned government agencies.

The proposed ordinance carries a penalty of P3,000 or imprisonment or both at the discretion of the court and cancellation of permits of establishments or public convenience found violating the local measure.

“Any single parent aggrieved shall file his or her complaint to the Business and Licensing Division of the Iloilo City Government for proper notice of investigation,” read part of the proposed ordinance.

Citing a decade-old data, Acap said there were nearly 14 million single parents out of 94 million Filipinos in 2007, with a 30.5 percent growth rate.

Under Republic Act 8972, a solo parent can avail himself/herself of government help and privileges that include flexible work schedule, non-discrimination at work, and parental leave of not more than seven days annually./PN