Senate bill seeks more leaves, discounts for OFW spouses

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2020 10:11 PM

MANILA - Spouses of overseas Filipino workers should be entitled to additional leaves and discounts on tuition, medical and other basic needs, a senator said in a bill that sought to expand benefits for those who single-handedly raise their children.

Under Senator Risa Hontiveros' Senate Bill No. 164, spouses of OFWs will receive the same benefits enjoyed by solo parents, including a 20 percent discount on tuition and 7 days of additional "parental leave" annually. 

"Minsan, mahigit isang taon nang nasa abroad ang OFW na asawa. Mag-isa na rin minsang nagpapalaki ng anak. We need to extend the solo parents’ benefits to them too," Hontiveros said in a statement.

"Malaki ang sakripisyo ng mga magulang na OFW. Kung wala man ang isa sa kanila, dapat may sapat na suporta mula sa gobyerno," she said, noting that additional discounts on medicine and recreational activities should also be given to parents who single-handedly raise their children.

Only spouses of OFWs who have been overseas for at least a year and "without interruption" will qualify for the additional benefits, according to the bill.

It's a way of rewarding OFWs who have contributed greatly to the Philippine economy, the senator said.

Under the Solo Parents Act of 2000, a Filipino is considered as a solo parent if he or she was widowed, separated from his/her spouse, annulled, is mentally incapacitated, a victim of rape, or single-handedly adopted a child.