Tag Archives: children

The Rise of the Filipino Baby Mama: Acceptable or Inevitable?

In this country, the number of single unwed mothers is escalating.

According to a few expat friends, apparently being a single unwed mother in the Philippines is deemed “acceptable” now. Though the point of what is acceptable or not in this culture is still up for further study and discussion, we did find common ground that it is never “acceptable” for the presumed father to abandon the mother and child thus leaving them without financial support.

Too many of these single, unwed women end up unable to support these children from wedlock. Many of those women have to turn to unsavory work in order to support the child because the fathers often do not. A friend of mine sums up this social and moral concern perfectly: “Personally, the inability and/or refusal to support your child is immoral, if not, should be found as a criminal act.”

You can go into any bar here in the Philippines and talk to the many women working in them and it is often the same old story over and over again. And this does not only encapsulate your stereotypical bar girl but even educated, professional, single women who are struggling to make ends meet in order to provide for their child.

The number of single unwed women is increasing and in the Philippines it is happening way too often. In fact, it seems that most girls here think that having a baby is the greatest thing in the world – kind of like getting a new toy, but that wears off awfully quick once the honeymoon phase is over.

In the Philippines, it seems that finding a child with two married parents is the exception instead of the rule. Find a Filipino guy that does not think its OK to bed any girl he can. It is this same macho attitude that permeates most developing countries. Given the lack of education, guidance, leadership, apathy and female empowerment, Filipino women are always on the losing end. Unwed mothers, has it become acceptable? No I don’t think it is acceptable, but given the circumstances, I think it is inevitable.

Anyone can have sex and make children, lots of it. But to be a parent? Now that takes a lifetime commitment. To my educated readers, it goes without saying that sex education is paramount. Though using contraception may not be deemed moral in a religious country such as the Philippines, but don’t you think it even more immoral if another defenseless human being suffer a lifetime of impoverished existence? So before you unzip, (and this goes to both parties) think and ask yourself: Am I really ready to be a parent?

In relation to the above, I’ve detailed some items below that hopefully could be of use to some women who read my website, particularly Article 194 – 208 of the Philippine Family Code. Remember: ignorance of the law excuses no one.

Technicalities: Claiming Child Support

For the single mother and child to survive, it is crucial that support be demanded from the father. To claim or demand support, the single mother must first prove that the child is related to the presumed father. Once proven, the written claim must be sent to the father with proof that such demand was received. In case the father disputes his paternity, this can easily be established by a DNA test.

If the father of the child refuses to provide child support despite receiving a written demand, the single mother can now sue the father for child support.

In case a child is taken away without the consent of the mother, the mother can file a civil and/or criminal case under Republic Act No. 90262, or “The Anti-Violence Act against Women and Children”. Or, she may choose to file kidnapping charges under the Revised Penal Code. In case the father, who had been given access, takes the child away contrary to the terms under which he was given access, the mother can sue him under RA No. 9262 or file a petition for contempt against him for violating any court order.

Basic Principles of Child Support:

  • It is everything that is indispensable for food, shelter, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation in keeping with the financial capacity of the family
  • It is joint (whether the parents are married or not), based on the proportion of the resources
  • It is based on the needs of the child and the means of the parents (there are no fixed percentages or rules on how much child support will be given)
  • It is never final (as the situation changes, so, too will child support requirements)
  • It must be demanded.

An excerpt from the Family Code of the Philippines on Child Support:

TITLE VIII

SUPPORT

Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

Art. 105. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:

(1) The spouses;

(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;

(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and

(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood

Art. 196. Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood, are likewise bound to support each other to the full extent set forth in Article 194, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to a cise imputable to the claimant’s fault or negligence.

Art. 197. In case of legitimate ascendants; descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate; and brothers and sisters, whether legitimately or illegitimately related, only the separate property of the person obliged to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support, which shall be deducted from the share of the spouse obliged upon the liquidation of the absolute community or of the conjugal partnership.

Art. 198. During the proceedings for legal separation or for annulment of marriage, and for declaration of nullity of marriage, the spouses and their children shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership. After the final judgment granting the petition, the obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, specifying the terms of such order.

Art. 199. Whenever two or more persons are obliged to give support, the liability shall devolve upon the following persons in the order herein provided:

(1) The spouse;

(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;

(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and

(4) The brothers and sisters.

Art. 200. When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each. However, in case of urgent need and by special circumstances, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them.

When two or more recipients at the same time claim support from one and the same person legally obliged to give it, should the latter not have sufficient means to satisfy all claims, the order established in the preceding article shall be followed, unless the concurrent obligees should be the spouse and a child subject to parental authority, in which case the child shall be preferred.

Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

Art. 202. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

Art. 203. The obligation to give support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date of judicial or extra-judicial demand.

Support pendente lite may be claimed in accordance with the Rules of Court.

Payment shall be made within the first five days of each corresponding month or when the recipient dies, his heirs shall not be obliged to return what he has received in advance.

Art. 204. The person obliged to give support shall have the option to fulfill the obligation either by paying the allowance fixed, or by receiving and maintaining in the family dwelling the person who has a right to receive support. The latter alternative cannot be availed of in case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto.

Art. 205. The right to receive support under this Title as well as any money or property obtained as such support shall not be levied upon on attachment or execution.

Art. 206. When, without the knowledge of the person obliged to give support, it is given by a stranger, the latter shall have a right to claim the same from the former, unless it appears that he gave it without intention of being reimbursed.

Art. 207. When the person obliged to support another unjustly refuses or fails to give support when urgently needed by the latter, any third person may furnish support to the needy individual, with right of reimbursement from the person obliged to give support. This Article shall particularly apply when the father or mother of a child under the age of majority unjustly refuses to support or fails to give support to the child when urgently needed.

Art. 208. In case of contractual support or that given by will, the excess in amount beyond that required for legal support shall be subject to levy on attachment or execution.

Furthermore, contractual support shall be subject to adjustment whenever modification is necessary due to changes of circumstances manifestly beyond the contemplation of the parties.

References:
http://www.smartparenting.com.ph/mom-dad/relationships/Single-Moms-and-their-Child-Support-and-Child-Custody-Rights
Family Code of the Philippines, Article 194 – 208

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May We Never Forget the Peshawar, Pakistan Massacre

Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks”, recounts Shahrukh Khan, 16, as he speaks from his bed in the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital adding that the gunmen shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) before opening fire.3


Hunted and Gunned Down Like Dogs

Then one of them shouted: ‘There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them’ Khan told AFP (Agene France-Presse).3

Speaking from his bed in the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital, Shahrukh Khan, 16, “Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks”, he said, adding that the gunmen shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) before opening fire.3

Shot on the leg, Khan pretended to be dead while gunmen methodically shot his classmates and teachers. “When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire. She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.”3

Ordered to shoot older students3 the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants stormed the army-run school in Peshawar and systematically went from room to room, shooting children (ages 10-18) during an 8 hour killing spree.4

Shoes lie in blood on the auditorium floor at the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, Dec. 16, 2014. Image © Time.com

There is nothing casual or accidental in the choice of school or target of an attack. The Taliban have long condemned education for children, especially female children, arguing that it goes against the teachings of the Koran. This is specious, at best, because Islam is noted for scholarship and scientific progress, and the world owes what it knows of mathematics, astronomy and other forms of science to ancient Islamic Scholars.2

Army Public School is attended by boys and girls from both military and civilian backgrounds.3

Any schools, but particularly girls’ schools, are considered soft targets to further the militants’ ultra-orthodox agenda. In fact, the attack on Malala Yousafzai was part of the fundamentalist strategy.

In October 2012, Mullah Fazlullah, then leader of the TNSM (a Sunni extremist group), ordered the killing of fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai for standing up for girls’ right to education.”1Yousafzai was shot in the face a few years back because she dared speak out in favor of education for girls in Pakistan. It was in recognition of her courage and determination to champion the cause of education for girls, wherever in the world they may be, that Malala was awarded this year (2014) the Nobel Peace Prize. To this day, a standing order for her death awaits her in Pakistan.2

Attacking the school in Peshawar then was part of the Taliban’s terrorist logic.1

I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire. She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned.” survivor Shahrukh Khan, 16, says. It was not immediately clear how the female employee’s body caught fire, though her remains were also later seen by an AFP reporter in a hospital mortuary.3


Reason Behind The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Led Massacre

The mass murder carried out by the Pakistani Taliban was so horrific, so brutal, that even the Afghan Taliban condemned the massacre as “un-Islamic”.1

The Pakistani Taliban justified the attack as retaliation against the Pakistan army’s continuing offensive in the country’s so-called ‘tribal belt’, which borders Afghanistan and where the Taliban draw much of their support. Peshawar is close to the Afghan border.1

TTP spokesperson Muhammad Umar Khorasani said the assault was carried out to avenge Taliban fighters and their families killed in the Army’s offensive against militant strongholds in North Waziristan. “We are doing this because we want them to feel the pain of how terrible it is when your loved ones are killed. We are taking this step so that their families should mourn as ours are mourning”.4“This is a reaction to the killing of our children and dumping of bodies of our mujahideen” a spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said.1


A Strategy Born Out Of Desperation

To be sure it is difficult to distinguish between desperation and strategy. The gunmen were there to make a statement, that they were bringing the fight directly to the families of the soldiers who were fighting them.1The killings was in retaliation for a major military offensive in the region.2

The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military. They don’t have the capacity. So they are going for soft targets” said Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst.4

It may be too early to tell whether the Pakistani military offensive is a triumph or not, but the attack on the Peshawar school is proof that the belated campaign is taking its toll, and the Taliban are hurting.1


A History of Carnage

The attack comes as US and Nato troops this month end their combat mission in neighboring Afghanistan, 13 years after the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime for harboring those responsible for the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.4

Taliban fighters have been waging attacks across Afghanistan as well, and some US forces will be deployed to train and advise Afghanistan security forces to combat the threat. Tuesday’s attack, shocking even by the standards of Pakistan, sparked condemnation world-wide and led the Pakistani government and military to reaffirm their determination to defeat a group that has killed thousands since it began its insurgency in 2007.4


A World in Mourning

Karachi declared 3 days of national mourning for the 132 children and nine school staff massacred by the terrorists on Tuesday. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.4

The barbarism of this attack is an affront to all civilized peoples. There can be no justification for this tragedy, which has dishonored Islam. Today, every person of goodwill is a father, mother, brother and sister to the people of Pakistan” Philippine President Benigno Aquino said.4

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “Many of these extremists like to characterize their struggle as a struggle of Muslims against the Western World. But that clearly is not true if the largest number of victims that we’re seeing are actually Muslims. And that makes the situation all the more heartbreaking and all the more tragic.”4

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott offered his own sympathy to Pakistan, as his government deals with the fallout from a cafe siege by a deranged Islamist gunman.4

The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair, center, comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother who was a teacher at the school which was attacked by Taliban, in Peshawar, Pakistan on Dec. 16, 2014. Image © Time.com

May We Never Forget the Peshawar, Pakistan Massacre

What: Peshawar, Pakistan Massacre
When: December 16 2014
Where: Main hall of the Army Public School and College in Peshawar, Pakistan
Who: Atleast 7 militant gunmen of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
Wounded: 124 (121 of them children)1
Death toll: 16 members of the school staff including the female office assistant burned to death, 132 students (ages 10-18). 148 casualties in total.1

 

References:
1Philippine Daily Inquirer, Editorial. ‘My Brothers and Sisters’, December 19, 2014.
2Philippine Daily Inquirer, At Large. ‘Bloodshed in a time of peace’, Rina-Jimenez-David. December 19, 2014.
3Philippine Daily Inquirer via AFP. ‘I saw death so close, says teener who survived carnage’, December 18, 2014.
4Philippine Daily Inquirer, ‘World one in revulsion vs Taliban bestiality’. Christian V. Esguerra. December 18, 2014.