A bill imposing two to four year jail time on top of P100,000 to P300,000 fine to parents who fail to provide child support has been filed in the House of Representatives.
Northern Samar Representative Paul Daza filed House Bill 44 or the Child Support Enforcement Act mandating that once an order has been issued by authorities, the amount of child support should be at P6,000 per month or P200 a day.
“Balasubas parents—time to shape up and face your responsibilities. It’s about time that we enact a law that will protect our children from deadbeat parents,” he said in a statement.
“Imagine, these children did not choose to be born; why will they be the ones to suffer more when their parents decide to separate?” he added.
Daza’s bill also provides that qualified solo parents may request for government assistance in locating and filing cases against their deadbeat partner.
Nevertheless, a formerly deadbeat parent who had successfully completed a case filing and committed to pay child support are qualified to seek government support as provided for in the Act in meritorious cases such as unemployment, loss of business, bankruptcy, etc.
“Parents should be responsible for the survival and well-being of their children. In cases of families with an absent or deadbeat parent or when separation of couples/parents are not avoidable, the family should continue to provide an environment of well-being and security,” Daza’s explanatory note on his measure read.
“It is then the policy of the State to ensure that all children—including those in households/families where the other parent has refused or failed to give support—will have equal chances in life,” he added.
Paternity establishment, however, is a prerequisite for obtaining a child support order.
Daza’s proposal provides that the government, through its public hospitals and/or PhilHealth, shall provide for the laboratory costs of these tests.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will set paternity establishment standards and procedures through the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Act in coordination with the following agencies:
- Department of Health;
- Department of Justice; and the
- Philippine Statistics Authority.
To further simplify the procedures, a simple civil process for voluntarily acknowledging paternity shall be established under which the government must explain the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity and afford due process safeguards.
Procedures must include a hospital-based system for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity during the period immediately preceding or following the birth of a child.
“It is the duty of the State to assist custodian parents to establish the paternity of a child. This Act creates simpler civil procedures for establishing paternity in contested cases, by requiring all parties in a contested paternity case to take a genetic or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test upon the valid request of a custodian parent,” Daza said.—AOL, GMA News