DSWD partners with PAO to press legal charges against fathers failing to pay child support

Negligent fathers, beware!

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) will be joining forces in prosecuting fathers who are deliberately avoiding provision of financial and moral support to their children.

This is part of the DSWD’s efforts to assist single mothers who are struggling to raise children on their own. Under the Philippine law, fathers are required to financially support their children; however, many fail to do so. This leaves many single mothers with little or no money to support themselves and their children.

DSWD and PAO are now working together to help single mothers get the child support they are entitled to. Also, they are running campaigns in raising awareness about the importance of fathers supporting the needs of their children.

In the Philippines, when parents separate, the burden of caring for children often falls on the shoulders of the mother. This is due to a number of reasons—such as financial instability or being in a different province—which often prevent fathers from taking an active role in their children’s lives.

The previous administrations were more lenient when it comes to negligent fathers. Dads were only reminded of their responsibilities through various channels, including the media, the internet and personal visits.

However, under the DSWD led by Secretary Erwin Tulfo, filing for child support has become easier for mothers. Two lawyers from PAO will be deployed to help mothers, in the event that they decide to press charges against their former partners who are deliberately running away from their obligations.

Tulfo also urged single mothers to utilize the DSWD regional offices, wherein they can voice out their grievances and file complaints against negligent fathers who fail to give their children financial support.

Following an increase of requests from single parents due to the lack of financial aid from ex-partners, the two institutions — Tulfo and PAO chief Persida Acosta signed a memorandum of agreement last September 19, 2022.

Republic Act 9262 or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004” reprimands “Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support.”

Tulfo also referenced the Family Code to highlight the importance of fathers paying their children’s support.

Similarly, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, enacted on September 29, 2022, will begin to take effect by the end of October this year.

Tulfo reminded business establishments to follow in giving discounts to solo parents once the IRR is “fully operational.”

He also mentioned that solo parents will also be prioritized to receive free housing allocation. To help with the children’s education, one child of a solo parent will be eligible to receive a full scholarship grant.

Once proven guilty of charges, negligent fathers would be penalized by imprisonment from one to 20 years and a fine of 100,000PHP to 300,000PHP.

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