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Financial Support For Abandoned Women And Children

Abandoned women and children are living in limbo because aside from finding means to survive, the hopes of receiving support from the child's father are nebulous. Support includes dwelling, sustenance, education, transportation and even medical assistance. Fortunately,  Republic Act No. 9262 gives you the right to compel your spouse or live-in partner to provide financial support. This can be executed by filing a petition for Protection Order. The petition must be filed with the Family Court of the place of residence. 

The court will determine the amount of support in accordance to your needs and the husband's resources. The Protection Order will also give the employer of your husband the authority to remit the support directly. The judge will cite your live in partner or husbandor employer for contempt of court in the event either party disregards the Protection Order. 

SECTION 8. Protection Orders.- A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child specified in Sec. 5 of this Act and granting other necessary relief. The relief granted under a protection order serve the purpose of safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in the victim's daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of the victim to independently regain control over her life. The provisions of the protection order shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies. The protection orders that may be issued under this Act are the barangay protection order (BPO), temporary protection order (TPO) and permanent protection order (PPO). The protection orders that may be issued under this Act shall include any, some or all of the following reliefs:

(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Sec. 5 of this Act;

(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly;

(c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of the petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the petitioner, or permanently where no property rights are violated, and if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent has gathered his things and escort respondent from the residence;

(d) Directing the respondent to stay away from petitioner and designated family or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by the petitioner and any designated family or household member;

(e) Directing lawful possession and use by petitioner of an automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and directing the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the parties to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to the possession of the automobile and other essential personal effects, or to supervise the petitioner's or respondent's removal of personal belongings;

(f) Granting a temporary or permanent custody of a child/children to the petitioner;

(g) Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman and/or her child if entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, the court shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to be withheld regularly by the respondent's employer for the same to be automatically remitted directly to the woman. Failure to remit and/or withhold or any delay in the remittance of support to the woman and/or her child without justifiable cause shall render the respondent or his employer liable for indirect contempt of court;

(h) Prohibition of the respondent from any use or possession of any firearm or deadly weapon and order him to surrender the same to the court for appropriate disposition by the court, including revocation of license and disqualification to apply for any license to use or possess a firearm. If the offender is a law enforcement agent, the court shall order the offender to surrender his firearm and shall direct the appropriate authority to investigate on the offender and take appropriate action on matter;

(i) Restitution for actual damages caused by the violence inflicted, including, but not limited to, property damage, medical expenses, childcare expenses and loss of income;

(j) Directing the DSWD or any appropriate agency to provide petitioner may need; and

(k) Provision of such other forms of relief as the court deems necessary to protect and provide for the safety of the petitioner and any designated family or household member, provided petitioner and any designated family or household member consents to such relief.

Any of the reliefs provided under this Sec. shall be granted even in the absence of a decree of legal separation or annulment or declaration of absolute 'ity of marriage.

The issuance of a BPO or the pendency of an application for BPO shall not preclude a petitioner from applying for, or the court from granting a TPO or PPO.

SECTION 9. Who may file Petition for Protection Orders. – A petition for protection order may be filed by any of the following:

(a) The offended party;

(b) Parents or guardians of the offended party;

(c) Ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;

(d) Officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs);

(e) Police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children's desks;

(f) Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad;

(g) Lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner;

(h) At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality where the violence against women and their children occurred and who has personal knowledge of the offense committed.

SECTION 10. Where to Apply for a Protection Order. – Applications for BPOs shall follow the rules on venue under Sec. 409 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and its implementing rules and regulations. An application for a TPO or PPO may be filed in the regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, municipal circuit trial court with territorial jurisdiction over the place of residence of the petitioner: Provided, however, That if a family court exists in the place of residence of the petitioner, the application shall be filed with that court.

SECTION 11. How to Apply for a Protection Order. – The application for a protection order must be in writing, signed and verified under oath by the applicant. It may be filed as an independent action or as incidental relief in any civil or criminal case the subject matter or issues thereof partakes of a violence as described in this Act. A standard protection order application form, written in English with translation to the major local languages, shall be made available to facilitate applications for protections order, and shall contain, among other, the following information:

(a) names and addresses of petitioner and respondent;

(b) description of relationships between petitioner and respondent;

(c) a statement of the circumstances of the abuse;

(d) description of the reliefs requested by petitioner as specified in Sec. 8 herein;

(e) request for counsel and reasons for such;

(f) request for waiver of application fees until hearing; and

(g) an attestation that there is no pending application for a protection order in another court.

If the applicants is not the victim, the application must be accompanied by an affidavit of the applicant attesting to (a) the circumstances of the abuse suffered by the victim and (b) the circumstances of consent given by the victim for the filling of the application. When disclosure of the address of the victim will pose danger to her life, it shall be so stated in the application. In such a case, the applicant shall attest that the victim is residing in the municipality or city over which court has territorial jurisdiction, and shall provide a mailing address for purpose of service processing.

An application for protection order filed with a court shall be considered an application for both a TPO and PPO.

Barangay officials and court personnel shall assist applicants in the preparation of the application. Law enforcement agents shall also extend assistance in the application for protection orders in cases brought to their attention.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney

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