Fact check: Imee Marcos authored the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act

July 4, 2022 - 6:06 PM
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This March 31, 2022 photo shows Sen. Imee Marcos attending a plenary session. (Bibo Nueva España /PRIB)

Claim: Sen. Imee Marcos is the “author” of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act. 

On June 29, Marcos uploaded a graphic on her Facebook page bearing her name and picture on it, indicating that she is the author of the Republic Act 11861 or the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act.

The caption of the post says:

“Eto na nga mga mamshies at papshies! Pinaglaban ko hanggang sa huling sandali, at ngayon ay ganap ng batas. Bilang isang solo parent, pamilyar na ang inyong lingkod sa mga pagsubok na ating kinahaharap sa pagpapalaki ng ating mga anak.

Kaya naman aking siniguro na isa sa mga maipapasang batas ngayong 18th Congress ang pagpapalawig sa mga benepisyong tinatanggap ng solo parents.

Sa pagpasok ng 19th Congress, asahan ninyong ipagpapatuloy ko pa ang pagpasa at pakikipaglaban para sa ikagiginhawa ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino, saan mang sulok ng bansa.

#IMEEsolusyon #IMEEpagasa”

Rating: True but the post lacks context.

Facts

Marcos is one of the seven co-authors of the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2020 (Senate Bill No. 1411), together with her colleagues at the Senate, former Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, re-elected Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, former Senate President Tito Sotto III, Sen. Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Bong Revilla.

  • Senate Bill No. 1411 is the substitution of all the related bills that were authored and introduced by the aforementioned senators to amend RA 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000.
  • Senate Bill No. 86: Amending RA 8972 (Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000) – Filed by Gordon on July 1, 2019
  • Senate Bill No. 164: Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2019 – Filed by Hontiveros on July 2, 2022
  • Senate Bill No. 206: Amending R.A. No. 8972 (Solo Parents Welfare Act) – Filed by Go on July 2, 2019
  • Senate Bill No. 238: Expanded Solo Parents’ Welfare Act – Filed by Sotto on July 8, 2019
  • Senate Bill No. 307: Amending R. A. No. 8972 (Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000) – Filed by Zubiri on July 10, 2019
  • Senate Bill No. 951: Amending R. A. 8972 (Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000) – filed by Revilla on August 20, 2019
  • Senate Bill No. 1014: Amending Republic Act No. 8972 (Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000) – filed by Marcos on Sept. 4, 2019

On March 11, 2020, the committees on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, Ways and Means and Finance submitted Senate Bill 1411, headed by Hontiveros as the primary sponsor.

As the chairperson of the primary reporting committee which is the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, Hontiveros served as the principal author of the solo parents welfare bill in the Senate.

Enrolled copies of this bill were sent to President Rodrigo Duterte on May 4, 2022.

Thirty days later, the Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2020, a bill that grants additional benefits to solo parents, lapsed into law on June 4 without the president’s signature.

According to the Constitution, a bill approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate will lapse into law if the president does not act upon it 30 days upon receipt.

Now known as the Republic Act (RA) 11861, the new law provides P1,000 monthly cash subsidy to solo parents earning minimum wage and below, and a 10% discount on certain medications for those who have children six years old and younger.

RELATED: Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act lapses into law 

Why it matters

As of writing, Marcos’ post garnered over 119,000 reactions, 20,000 comments and 35, 000 shares on Facebook.

The comments section of her post was flooded with praises and gratitude for the senator for authoring the bill while others are pointing out that Hontiveros is the principal author of the bill.

Lawmakers often announce as accomplishment signed legislation they co-authored without disclosing the primary authors or sponsors of the main versions of the bill.

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

Interaksyon is part of #FactsFirstPH, a multi-sectoral initiative promoting truth in public space and demanding accountability for falsehoods. For those interested to join the initiative, email [email protected]

Interaksyon is also a founding partner of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippine elections. It is an initiative of academe, civil society groups and media to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.