Mindanao lawmakers file Marawi victims compensation bill
MANILA, Philippines – Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan have filed a bill seeking to compensate victims of the five-month Marawi siege over two years ago, citing the residents’ “deplorable state” amid the government’s rehabilitation efforts.
The two lawmakers from Mindanao filed House Bill 3543, the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2019, which seeks to quantify and eventually legislate payment for lost, damaged or destroyed properties of victims of the 2017 Marawi crisis.
“If this urgent piece of legislation passes into law, it will address the grievances of our fellow Maranaw who have survived the Marawi siege and, yet, continue to suffer due to a continuous cycle of injustice,” Hataman, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said in a statement Tuesday.
HB 3543 grants monetary compensation for real estate properties damaged or destroyed during the siege.
The bill pegged the aide at P1,500 per square meter for residences and P2,000 per square meter for commercial buildings.
Chapter 3, Sections 14 and 15 of the bill indicate that the payment applies only to lawful owners of the properties lost or damaged.
The bill also creates the Marawi Compensation Board, which will be allocated a P30 billion budget to implement its mandate of compensating property owner victims.
The board will have nine members appointed by the President, composed of representatives from civil society groups, which include the Ulama.
Majority of the board’s members should be lawyers, according to the bill.
The board will have a secretariat that would be assisted by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the National Housing Authority, two major agencies tasked in the rehabilitation of Marawi.
The compensation amount proposed in the bill “could be described as just a small fraction of the cost of constructing new structures at current prices,” according to Hataman.
“This is notwithstanding the trauma suffered by displaced families and small business owners, including those that have spent over two years in temporary shelters provided by both the government and non-governmental organizations,”
Hataman added. /gsg
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