Fathers should provide child support, says DSWD
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday said it will provide help to mothers seeking child support from the fathers of their children.
Upon the instruction of DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, the department said it would implement the measure, citing Article 195 of the Family Code which states that parents are legally required to support their children.
Meanwhile, Article 194 of the Family Code provides that “support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.”
Tulfo, however, clarified that the DSWD will not immediately file cases against fathers or parents who are not providing child support.
“Linawin ko lang po na hindi ko naman sinabi na kakasuhan namin agad ang hindi nagbibigay ng child support. Nasa batas po kasi natin, matik sa batas na kailangang suportahan ang bata. Maaring pinansiyal, o pag-aralin mo. Ang sinasabi ko, kung may trabaho at usually malalaman natin yan sa misis kung may trabaho,” Tulfo said in a statement.
(I just want to clarify that I did not say we will immediately file a case against those who will not give child support. The law mandates that child support be automatically given; it may be financial or the fathers may send the child to school. What I want to say is that if the father has work or source of livelihood, and we usually get that information from the mothers, then he should provide support).
Further, according to Article 201 of the Family Code, “the amount of support… shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.”
Tulfo urged mothers to bring their concerns to the DSWD, as the agency can help them seek support from the father.
The DSWD also cited Article 203 of the Family Code, which states that “the obligation to give support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs if not for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date of judicial or extra-judicial demand.”
The same provision adds, “payment shall be made within the first five days of each corresponding month or when the recipient dies, his heirs shall not be obliged to return what he has received in advance.”
“Pwede po kayong lumapit sa amin sa DSWD, kung may mga tatay na ayaw magsustento sa mga anak nila, provided na yung tatay ay may trabaho o may kinikita. Susulatan po namin, magdedemand kami na sustentuhan niya yung anak niya. Otherwise, ipapasa po namin ito sa korte, bahala na po ang Public Attorney’s Office. Tutulungan din po natin na ilapit sa IBP para magsampa ng kaso,” Tulfo said.
(You may reach out to us at the DSWD if there are fathers who refuse to give child support even if they have sources of income. We (DSWD) will write to demand that they provide child support. Otherwise, we will submit it to the court and let the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) handle it. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) can also help us file a case)
Tulfo added that the DSWD can also help mothers in issues of child custody.
The DSWD cited Article 213 of the Family Code, which emphasizes the child’s best interest on matters of custody.
It states that the court shall consider the best interest of the child/children in designating a parent who shall have parental authority.
The DSWD also cited Article 363 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which provides that “in all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children, the latter’s welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be separated from her child under seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling reasons for such a measure.”
Under Article 165 of the Family Code, a child is considered illegitimate if the child is born out of wedlock, and in relation with Article 176 of The Family Code, the parental authority and custody such child shall fall on the mother.
This means that single mothers have the sole parental authority over her child, the DSWD said.
Tulfo vowed that DSWD will exhaust all means to help mothers. He has further instructed all DSWD Field Offices to already set a day or two in the week to serve the mothers approaching them for help.
The department will also assist solo parents in acquiring benefits under Republic Act No. 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act.
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