DSWD and PAO join forces against ‘negligent and irresponsible’ fathers

The days of fathers who refuse to support their children from their ex-wife, ex-partner, or girlfriend, are numbered.

In a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo and Public Attorneys Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta on Monday, the two agencies agreed to pursue fathers who do not want to support their children with their exes.

According to Tulfo, “Hindi lang po warning…kundi sasampahan na ng kaso ang mga tatay ng bata na ayaw magbigay ng sustento sa kanilang anak.”

Tulfo explained, “Kapag lumapit ang isang ina sa amin at nirereklamo ang ama ng kanyang anak dahil ayaw magbigay ng sustento…una at pangalawa susulatan lang namin, kapag nagmatigas pa rin, ang PAO naman ang tutulong sa nasabing solo mom.”

“Tutulungan na ng PAO ang nanay ng bata na magsampa ng kaso sa korte,” the DSWD chief added.

For her part, Atty. Acosta said, “Bilang na ang araw ng mga walang kwentang mga ama na ito. Posibleng kasong kriminal pa ang kakaharapin ng taong ito.”

“Mag-aanak-anak ka tapos hindi mo sustentuhan? Ano ka? Nagtanim lang ng halaman tapos hindi mo na aalagaan?” Atty. Acosta remarked.

The PAO chief stressed that there is no reason why a father should not support his son, especially if he has a job or earns money.

In this regard, Tulfo and Acosta urged the mothers to approach the DSWD and file a complaint against the father of their children.

Tulfo said, “It does not matter kung may asawa o kasama ng iba si mommy, dahil ayon sa batas, dapat lamang sustentuhan ng tatay ang kanyang anak hanggang 18 years old.”

It was learned that these negligent fathers may face charges for violation of Article 194 and 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, which carries a penalty of imprisonment from one to 20 years and a penalty of P100,000 to P300,000.