The circus is now in town and yes election fever is heating up. Local television networks are filled with different campaign ads. One of the earlier ads is the one featuring four women/actresses asking the viewer to love her.
“Mahalin mo ako” – Enter frame, young hot and very popular actress. Then the frame cross fades to another beautiful and popular face saying something about being funny and another wrong reason the love her. Then enter another beautiful face and another sound bite and another.
Finally the candidate – with a comment on loving women only to confuse the message with an affirmation for women which must have been originally scripted to affirm the role of women and their contribution in society. Unfortunately, the message fails (to affirm) and it failed miserably.
The ad’s biggest mistake however is the law on VAWC itself. VAWC is The Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children and NOT Anti-Violence Against Women and Children. The absence of their between and women & children is misleading. The law after all is a remedy for woman victim and/or her child. Point is, VAWC per se in not applicable to any child. In cases of child abuse (of any form) and other violations regarding the rights of the child per se – the law to refer to would be RA 7610.
The ad said something about women and their role in childrearing and homemaking – and that basically is the reason why – we ought to love women. The message self destructed right there in then. The message started on a right note, do not love me for the wrong reasons. Only to end with a man (the candidate) parroting roles that only reaffirm stereotypes on women all over again.
Then again, I guess we cannot expect a more appropriate ad from a campaign that even fails to get the right and full title of the law that the ad is pretending to promote.
Now back to the solo parent act and the remaining benefits featured in the law.
Section 22. Educational Benefits – The DepEd, CHED and TESDA shall provide the following benefits and privileges: (a) (a) Scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education; (b) (b) Non-formal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children.Section 23. Housing Benefits – Solo parents who meet the eligibility criteria for housing assistance under R.A. No.7279 (Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992) and other related rules and regulations of participating housing agencies shall be provided with liberal terms of payment on government low-cost housing projects, In accordance with housing law provisions, prioritizing applicants below the poverty line as declared by the NSCB.Section 24. The NHA shall make available housing units to solo parents in its housing projects subject to existing disposition policies or may refer them to other housing projects, as appropriate, provided that: (a) (a) The identified solo parent must be eligible for assistance under the provisions of this Act; (b) (b) Solo parents, applying for housing benefits must meet the qualification criteria for housing assistance under Republic Act 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) and other NHA eligibility criteria under existing policies, rules and regulations; and (c) (c) Eligible solo parents shall file their application for housing unit directly with the concerned NHA Project Offices. Upon written request, the NHA shall provide the DSWD a listing of NHA projects with available housing units for disposition. This list shall be updated and provided semi-annually. Section 25. Medical Assistance – The DOH shall develop a comprehensive health care program for solo parents and their children. The program shall be implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and medical centers and the local government units (LGUs), through their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health units (RHUs). Section 26. Essential Health Packages – To ensure the state of well-being of the solo parent and his/her family, health/medical services shall be made available at all times, in all levels of health care delivery system as mentioned in the previous section. These health/medical services shall be part of the regular essential health packages being provided at various stages of life.