01 February 2021
TAGUIG CITY - Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña is glad that the House of Representatives approved House Bill (HB) 8097 or "An Act Granting Additional Benefits to Solo Parents" which amends Republic Act No. 8972 or the "Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000".

The legislators passed on third and final reading HB 8097 on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 voting 208-0-0.

Lapeña assured that TESDA will be pleased to add solo parents to the agency's special clients like Indigenous People, farmers, Overseas Filipino Workers, and the marginalized sector.

"TESDA is ready to help our solo parents and their children and become part of the TESDA community as among our 'kaTESDA'. Like our other kaTESDA, they also deserve to be empowered just like what we do to help our special clients.

Lapeña also added that TESDA is ready to work with other government agencies on formulating suitable programs for solo parents once the final bill is enacted into law.

“We are looking forward to the Senate’s version of the bill," he added.

HB 8097 mandates eight government agencies including TESDA, to develop a comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their children.

With the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA is also designated to provide educational benefits like scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary, and technical/skills education.

The said agencies shall also promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the program.

Meanwhile, TESDA, DTI, CHED, DepEd, Department of Labor and Employment and other government agencies shall prioritize solo parents and their children to provide them with livelihood, training and poverty alleviation programs, and employment information with matching services to enable them to be productive members of the society.

The bill also requires the government agencies to form an inter-agency committee to be headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development which will formulate implementing rules and regulations in consultation with the local government units, non-government organizations, and people's organizations.

To become a law, the Senate also needs to pass their own version of HB 8097 and convene a bicameral conference committee with the House to discuss the provisions in their respective bills.

When both houses of Congress are able to ratify their reconciled version of said bill, it will be signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. ###