Hike in solo parents’ aid mulled

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Thursday, April 3, 2014


THE Cebu City Council is deliberating on a proposal to increase by 100 percent the financial assistance that the local government gives to solo parents.

In its regular session yesterday, the council discussed the proposal of Councilor Gerardo Carillo to increase to P5,000 the annual cash assistance to solo parents from P2,500.

Carillo, chairperson of the committee on social services, said he hopes to alleviate the living conditions of solo parents and their children.

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Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said that at present, solo parents are only getting about P200 a month.

Not enough

Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos remarked on the measly amount. “If we want to alleviate their lives, is P200 enough?” she asked.

Councilor James Cuenco expressed agreement with delos Santos.

Carillo said the Cebu City Women and Family Affairs Commission proposed an initial assistance of P2,500 from City Hall.

Although many councilors agreed that P2,500 a year is too small, the City Council deferred approval of Carillo’s proposal to put in some safety mechanisms.

Voters

The councilors wanted to be sure that solo parents from other local government units would not transfer to Cebu City just so they can avail themselves of the cash assistance.

Carillo proposed that only solo parents who voted in the city for three national and local elections will benefit from the program. Also, their income should be below the poverty threshold.

But Councilor Margarita Osmeña said that this provision would leave out solo parents who are minors.

Labella said the City Registrar’s Office can confirm that there are many solo parents who are minors.

Councilor Nida Cabrera then said the requirements under the program should provide a category for minors.

Carillo said he will submit an amended draft in the council's regular session next week.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 03, 2014.

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