DSWD, PAO ink deal providing free legal assistance to solo parents

Metro Manila (CNN PHilippines, September 21) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Monday signed a supplemental memorandum of agreement that will provide free legal services to single parents.

“The current administration has identified the need to provide and extend legal advice and assistance to victims of economic abuse, particularly those children and solo parents who need legal services to enforce financial and moral support from the concerned father and spouse,” Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo said in a statement Wednesday.

The DSWD sought the partnership due to the influx of requests for assistance from solo parents demanding financial and children support from their estranged partners.

With this partnership between two agencies, a public attorneys’ office will be established in DSWD.

“The supplemental MOA will strengthen our services to DSWD clients, specifically [those who] need assistance regarding their difficulties on having spouses, or partners, or with dating relationships commit to their responsibilities in providing financial support to respective children,” said PAO chief Persida Acosta.

In 2013, the DSWD and PAO also signed an agreement that seeks to provide legal assistance to victims of violence against women and children, children in conflict with the law, and local prospective adoptive parents who are biological parents or step-parents of the prospective adoptees in adoption cases.