■ Hanna C. Lacsamana
A forum set next week will tackle the possibility of encouraging solo parents in Baguio City to consider having a complete family.
Councilor Betty Tabanda, chair of the city council committee heath, said the forum led by the group Balikatan sa Kaunlaran is in line with the theme of the 31st National Family Week which is “Pamilyang Pilipino: Pagtugon sa Nagbabagong Pananaw at Panahon”.
Invited participants are solo parents, with resource speakers to be led by Family Court Presi-ding Judge Modesto Bahul, who is expected to talk on the benefits of solo parents, Family Law, and child support among other topics.
“Our groupis focusing on changes in perspectives and the times when it comes to families. We have always thought the family is composed of a father, a mother, and the children. But you will notice that there is such a thing now as solo parentage. We even have laws that provide benefits for solo parents,” Tabanda said in a press conference on Sept. 20.
The councilor shared the belief that while a solo parent can act as a father and a mother, having a family with a father and a mother would make a difference.
They have also invited married individuals to talk how it is to be in a marriage, how it is to have a partner, and to have a complete family.
“Hopefully we will be able to encourage those eligible solo parents to finally get a partner so they will have a complete family. So while we recognize the rights and privileges of solo parents, our objective is to still have a complete family if possible,” Tabanda said.
She acknowledged however not all solo parents are qualified or even interested to have partners as some have become sole parents because they were physically abused, suffered mental torture, or abandoned among other reasons.
Tabanda also noted there are some who were encouraged to remain as solo parents because of the privileges granted by law to solo parents below poverty threshold, so they wanted to encourage them that it might be better for them to if they would have a partner and lead a complete family.
Acting Social Welfare and Development Officer Cynthia La-ngagan said as of Jan. 1 to Sept. 19, the city has a total of 842 solo parents, of which 292 are newly registered and issued a solo pa-rent ID, while 450 are old or those who were previously issued and renewed their IDs.
Of the number, 788 are female and 54 are male.
They are also categorized into two: A are those who are above poverty threshold, and there 277 of them; and category B or below poverty threshold where there are 565.
Majority of the registered solo parents in the city are those from the 40 to 49 age group, with 337, followed by 30 to 39 years old with 222; 50 to 59 years old with 194; 68 who are 18 to 29 years old; and 21 senior citizens.
Out of the number of solo parents, 349 are unmarried, 241 are widow/widower,and 186 were abandoned.
The forum to be held at the city councilsession hall from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 is among the activities lined upfor the city’s month-long celebration of the National Family Week which is observed from Sept. 25 to 29.