Parenthood is a life-transforming experience and it becomes extra-demanding lalo na kung mag-isa ka lang sa pagharap ng mga responsibilidad bilang magulang. Do you think you’re mentally, emotionally, physically at financially ready? Paano nga ba hinaharap at pinaghahandaan ang ganitong sitwasyon? Anu-ano rin ba ang mga pwedeng magbago sa buhay mo ‘pag naging solo parent ka?
In a study conducted by the World Health Organization, it is reported that we have about 15 million solo parents in the Philippines, 95% or 14 million of which are women. Hindi lahat ng single parents ay mula sa mga hiwalayan o pagkasira ng relasyon. Ang iba rito ay resulta ng biglaang pagdadalantao habang ang iba naman ay dahil sa pagkabiyudo o pagkabiyuda.
A solo parent tends to face twice the challenges as he/she needs to balance two individual roles at the same time - ang pag-aalaga sa mga anak at paninigurong matutustusan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan. Tatay ka na, nanay ka pa. Aside from the physical and financial demands, some single parents also need to face a stigma that is sometimes difficult to shake. Kahit nag-evolve na ang konsepto ng ‘pamilya’ ngayon, marami pa ring biases laban sa mga single parents, lalo na sa mga inang mag-isang nagpapalaki ng anak. Young single mothers are quickly judged as ‘di pinangatawanan’ or ‘baka ni-rape’. Children raised by solo parents are also sometimes expected to grow either undisciplined or effeminate (malambot) due to the absence of a strong, male figure.
“Most of the time kailangan kong mag-project ng strong image hindi lang para sa anak ko, kundi para na rin sa mga tao sa paligid ko. Ayokong isipin nila na nahihirapan ako pero sa totoo lang...mahirap! I feel stressed in trying to be the perfect parent and struggling to provide everything for my kid.” Carolina, 28, online seller.
“Namatay yung wife ko sa panganganak sa baby namin. Syempre, ako, hindi ko alam nung una kung ano ba yung gagawin ko. Pa’no ako magiging nanay at tatay kay Ayeesha? Buti na lang my mom and siblings are there to support me. Eventually, nakapag-adjust na rin ako. Pero mahirap. Mahirap talaga.” Harold, 32, call center agent.
According to World Vision, a global humanitarian organization, ‘the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and the down slope of the economy have caused single parents to suffer the most brunt especially in providing for the needs of their children while on community quarantine’. “This could take a toll on their physical, mental and emotional well-being, especially on women in poor communities. The disruption and even the loss of jobs and livelihood is glaringly felt by women and this brought a heightened loss of resources to meet their basic needs. The multiple burden of women is even more evident as the home becomes a place of work,” says Carleneth San Valentin, World Vision’s health and nutrition manager.
Humans have instincts to cope with difficult situations. Biglang lumalabas ang pagka-superhero ng isang tao sa mga pagkakataong nahihirapan o nalalagay sa alanganin ang mga mahal niya sa buhay. At dahil dyan, mas mabilis siyang nakaiisip o nakakapag-adjust sa kung ano ang dapat na gawin. Because whether they like it or not, they have to face and find solutions to all the challenges of being a solo parent.
According to Senator Rissa Hontiveros, "Raising a child is daunting, but raising a child alone constitutes a specific set of challenges and difficulties. Solo parents play multiple difficult roles." In the Philippines, Republic Act No. 8972, also known as SOLO PARENT WELFARE ACT OF 2020, provides benefits and privileges to single parents such as solo parent leave, housing and education benefits. Some private establishments also provide a 20% solo parent discount on goods and services.
Under Section 10, Article IV of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 8297, the benefits and privileges of a solo parent can be obtained only if there is a Solo Parent Identification Card. The requirements are as follows:
1. The applicants for the solo parent ID must bring the following documents to the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office:
Barangay certification certifying Solo Parent’s residency in the barangay for the last six months
Certificates e.g., birth certificates of children, death certificate of spouse and other appropriate documentary support
Income tax return or any document that will establish the income level of the solo parent
2. The social worker receives and ensures that all documents are complete and registers the applications with an appropriate case number in the log-book Registry of Solo Parents.
SOURCE: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Karamihan sa mga single parents ay nakararanas ng low self-esteem, financial burden at kahit health problems. Kaya’t mahalaga rin na maramdaman nilang mayroong silang matatag na support system that can help nurture them and their children. Some solo parents turn to their families and friends for advice and tangible support. There are times when single moms and dads actually get along with their child’s other parent and have a good, healthy co-parenting relationship.
Being a solo parent isn’t easy, but it can be done. Importanteng tandaan na mas kailangan nila ng proteksyon para patuloy nilang mapangalagaan at magampanan ang tungkulin nila sa kanilang pamilya. A solid healthcare plan or life insurance is an important financial protection to have. Kung ano’t anuman ang mangyari, masisiguro nilang secure at stable pa rin ang kalagayan ng kanilang anak. Parang kasama na rin ang insurance sa support system nila.
We at Paramount Direct honor all single parents for their unparalleled strength and sacrifices by offering affordable products designed to secure their health as well as their finances.
Our Sure Savings Plan is a comprehensive insurance product with life, accidental death and health benefits, payable in either 5 or 10 years, for ages 20 to 64 years old.
Ang kagandahan sa Sure Savings Plan ay makukuha ang life benefit nito, if the policyholder surpasses the maturity period of the plan, which can be used for the future. Visit www.paramountdirect.com and apply online.
So chin up, mga solo parents! Sabi nga ni Meg Lowrey, “being a single parent is not a life full of struggles but a journey for the strong.”