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Davao City, Philippines

Going after deadbeat dads

January 16, 2023 - Monday 12:01 PM by Erwin Tulfo

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It is sad to note that rampant cases of "deadbeat dads" have continued to reach my desk at my private office, known as the Erwin Tulfo Action Center, for over 30 years.

The mounting complaints come from single or solo mothers of children sired by their estranged husbands or boyfriends who have failed to support the kids financially.

The Family Code of the Philippines dictates that every child's biological parents share the responsibilities, particularly the financial costs of raising the child from birth to till reach the age of 18.

A typical case is that of a mother left with the burden of tending to one or two kids after her relationship with the boyfriend/live-in partner did not work for keeps. However, a solo mom having to look after four to six children is not uncommon either.

Deadbeat dads must be made to answer for this crime of abandoning their children and turning their back on their obligation to provide financial support for their kids' shelter, sustenance, health, and educational needs.

Many fathers' failure or refusal to sustain their children's needs has been a widespread cause of poverty and dependency on government assistance, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

This trend has also forced solo moms to find extraordinary ways to earn a living.

A classic example is that of Michelle Silvertino, a Bicolana who sought employment as a domestic worker abroad to uplift the life of her four children after the kids' dad dumped them for his "other woman."

Silvertino went viral when she died while stranded on EDSA without the means to go back to Camarines Sur during the 2020 Luzon lockdown.

What future awaits the poor Silvertino kids aged 5-12?

Some deadbeat dads claim to be unemployed and deny they can support their children financially. Still, they must show documentary proof that they seek gainful employment.

Some outrightly deny their paternal responsibility to their kids, denying they are the biological fathers.

To help the solo moms go after their bastard husbands or boyfriends, we will request the assistance of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) to extend proper legal assistance to them. 

Solo moms can take legal action confidently with our support against the deadbeat dads of their kids, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that several private hospitals are back to their dirty tactics of turning away patients who come to the Emergency Room without any money for the initial payment.

The Department of Health (DOH) must not waste time and probe into this illegal activity and other concerned authorities. 

Hospital owners know very well that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. Its massive economic devastation lingers, aggravated by oil price hikes and the Russia-Ukraine War.

We understand hospital operators would want to recover losses and attain viability as soon as possible, but that should not come at the expense of public service and compassion.

The hospital business of saving lives and caring for the sick is anchored on a commitment to public service.

President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. has emerged as a popular global leader and a strong voice in the ASEAN community of nations.

His visits to other countries in the first seven months of his administration have reaped tens of billions of dollars in investment pledges and placed the Philippines at the crossroads of world trade.

PBBM's trips are part of his efforts to realize his vision for a better life for all Filipinos.

The world's superpowers have given PBBM recognition as he establishes himself as a credible, reliable, and trustworthy leader, and he possesses an aura of power to reckon with.