DSWD chief warns negligent fathers

By: Dempsey Reyes - Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 06,2022 - 11:49 AM
Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo. STORY: DSWD chief warns negligent fathers

Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — His tough talk has earned him controversy and popularity, and he may bring that with him in his new job as a member of the Cabinet.

In a TV interview, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo threatened with legal action fathers who continue to neglect supporting their children under the care of their former partners.

He also encouraged single mothers to report to his office their exes who are not providing for their kids.

“Yung mga single parent po natin, nagkakaproblema sa mga bastardo nilang mga ex, bastardong mga ama ng kanilang anak, ayaw mag-sustento,” Tulfo told veteran journalist Malou Mangahas in an interview  aired on Tuesday on GMA.

(Single parents are having problems with their bastard exes, bastard fathers of their children who won’t provide financial support.)

He added that “I will encourage them [single parents] to come to the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development]. We will help them out and we will write letters [to their former partners].”

Should the neglectful fathers ignore the letters that Tulfo said will be sent by the DSWD’s legal officers, they will be sued because “they are violating a law already.”

‘Useless’ fathers

Reached by the Inquirer later on Tuesday, he stood by his warning and said the cases to be filed by his department may be referred to the Public Attorney’s Office or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Tulfo quoted a provision in the amended Family Code of the Philippines which states that any parent, being a signatory to a child’s birth certificate, is obliged to provide financial support until the child reaches the legal age of 18.

“If they won’t support the kids, they are already violating the law,” he said, reiterating that point to the Inquirer.

He said children needing parental support are always covered by the DSWD’s mandate—even before his appointment—to provide them social welfare and protection.

Apart from the problem of children being neglected by any of their parents, Tulfo said the agency had also been reaching out to “walang kwentang (useless)” fathers who refuse to consent to having children below 7 years old in their mother’s custody.

He said children at that age should be with their mothers, as stated in the Family Code, unless the court decides otherwise, while support should be provided by their fathers.

Tulfo used to host “Tutok Erwin Tulfo” over state-run Radyo Pilipinas, which would hear various complaints by distressed citizens. In turn, he would call up the agency or official concerned to have them tackle a caller’s problem.

This was the same “public service” program format of his brothers Ben and Raffy, who is now a senator. The three used to host a show together on TV5.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, children, DSWD, erwin tulfo, negligent fathers, single parent, support

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