Tulfo files bill seeking penalties for fathers who refuse to pay child support

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo and other lawmakers have filed a bill aimed at penalizing fathers who fail to pay child support.

The bill proposes a penalty of six to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of ₱100,000 to ₱300,000 for fathers who willfully fail to pay child support.

House Bill 8987 was filed by Tulfo, along with his partymates in ACT-CIS Party-list and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo.

“Ang gusto natin dito ay protektahan ang kinabukasan ng mga bata," Tulfo said in a statement. "Dapat panagutan ng mga magulang lalo na ng mga tatay ang kapakanan ng kanilang mga anak.”

[Translation: What we want is to protect the future of children. Parents, especially fathers, should ensure their welfare.]

Tulfo added that fathers who do not fulfill their role as a parent should be held accountable for failure to give support.

The measure proposed that paternal child support shall be at least 10% of the father’s salary, but should not be lower than ₱6,000 a month or ₱200 a day.

It defines "child" as a person below 18 years old, or a person over that age but "unable to fully take care or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of physical or pyscho-social disability or condition."

It adds paternity should be established to obtain a child support order.

While there are already penalties for so-called "deadbeat fathers" under Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violation Against Women and Children (Anti-VAWC) Act, the bill states "the comprehensive implementation and enforcement of paternal child, including all other acts to establish the said legal obligation, is still a legislative priority."

The lawmaker added the proposed bill will go through deliberations and public consultations to make sure the welfare of all parties will be upheld.