Maranaos laud House OK of Marawi compensation bill
ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, Philippines — Maranao local government and civil society leaders welcomed the approval by the House of Representatives of a measure providing compensation to families whose properties in Marawi City were destroyed during a five-month battle between government forces and Islamic State-linked groups in 2017.
The House plenary on Monday voted to pass House Bill No. 9925, known as the Marawi Compensation Act, which is expected to help boost the reconstruction of the war-torn city, particularly the rebuilding of homes.
Currently, the rehabilitation effort through government funds is focused on establishing common-use infrastructure like roads, health centers, a park and public market.
Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, chair of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), has targeted to have these facilities completed, if not almost done, by the end of the year.
Some 2,000 houses are being built but only for families who used to live in riverside and lakeside communities which are now “no build zones” and in state-owned lands that are now used for public infrastructure.
Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. expects that once the bill is signed into law, “we are assured that our fellow Meranaos, who are severely affected by the Marawi siege, will have hope that they can rebuild their lives all over again.”Adiong said the provision of compensation had been the clamor of the people of Lanao del Sur in the last three years.
No one left behind
The war in 2017 affected 24 villages which comprise the city’s commercial district, the so-called most affected area (MAA). A profiling done by the TFBM counted 15,727 families displaced from the MAA.
More than 2,000 families have applied for building permits with the city government to rebuild their homes and about 500 are being built.
Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the compensation would drive more rebuilding of private homes although he had yet to know how many families would be covered by the measure.
“We have to make the necessary assessment so that no one will be left behind,” he said.
The group Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch, in a statement, commended the House “for taking this long-needed and decisive step toward recognizing the victims of the war in Marawi who deserve just compensation.”
Maranao activist Drieza Lininding of the Moro Consensus Group said the measure’s passage “was worth the wait, after all.”
Acknowledging the delay in the House’s action on the bill, Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman said the measure “could hopefully give Marawi citizens a new start,” urging the Senate to approve it soon.
—REPORTS FROM EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ, JULIE S. ALIPALA, RICHEL V. UMEL, RYAN D. ROSAURO AND JULIE M. AURELIO
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.