Expedite passage of Marawi compensation bill, Congress urged
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), called on his fellow lawmakers to pass the Marawi Compensation Bill before Congress deliberates on the 2022 national budget.
Hataman pointed out that the bill providing monetary compensation to residents affected during the 2017 Marawi City siege seems to always be “last on the line.”
The House leader likewise asked President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the measure as urgent.
“Sobrang tagal na nito. Ang dami nang ibang sakuna ang dumating, pero parang laging inihuhuli sa pila ang Marawi (This issue has been here for so long. There are a lot of calamities that happened, but it seems like Marawi is always last on the line),” Hataman said in a statement.
“Sana maipasa na ito para naman makasama sa legacy niya (President Rodrigo Duterte) ang pagsasaayos ng Marawi. Nananawagan ako sa pangulo bilang ama ng bayan, bilang isang taga-Mindanao at bilang isang may dugong Moro. Sana po ay ma-certify itong compensation bill as urgent,” he added.
(I hope this can be passed so the rehabilitation of Marawi can be included in President Duterte’s legacy. I appeal to the President, as someone from Mindanao too, to certify the compensation bill as urgent.)
Hataman said that as the deliberations near for the 2022 national budget, passing the measure to compensate Marawi residents becomes imperative if Congress is to include the funds for the victims of the 2017 siege.
Currently, the Marawi compensation bill has passed in the House’s committee level while its counterpart measure remains pending in the Senate.
“Kung di natin i-prioritize itong compensation bill, baka hindi na maharap ng Kongreso at Senado bago mapasa ang 2022 budget, at matabunan na naman ng ibang usapin tulad ng Charter Change at ng extension ng transition period ng BARMM,” Hataman said.
(If we are not going to prioritize this compensation bill, the House and Senate might not be able to tackle this before passing the 2022 budget and this issue will be overshadowed by issues such as charter change and extending the transition period of BARMM.)
Further, Hataman said that government priorities should not see pandemic response and the Marawi situation “as an either-or proposition.”
“Alam natin na kailangan talagang all hands on deck para makatugon sa pandemya. At kailangan ng pondo para dito. Pero the more that the Marawi rehab is delayed, the more na puwersadong magsiksikan sa mga communities ang mga evacuees from Marawi,” Hataman said.
(We know that all hands should be on deck in responding to the pandemic and we need funds for it. But the more that the Marawi rehab is delayed, the more that evacuees from Marawi are forced to crowd in communities.)
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