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Marawi’s fate now in Senate’s hands

ILIGAN CITY—Advocates for the grant of government compensation to Marawi City families who lost their properties during the 2017 war between government troops and Islamic State-linked groups are asking the Senate to act on the measure immediately.

The call came as the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 9925, or the Marawi Compensation Act, on third reading on Monday. It was the substitute for three bills and was firmed up by the House committees on disaster resilience and appropriations.

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HB 9925 was transmitted to the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate version of the measure, Senate Bill No. 1395, was filed on March 4 last year by Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Imee Marcos. It has been pending in the committee on finance and the special committee on Marawi City rehabilitation.

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The group Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW), 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.”

Hastening rehab

MRCW members Saripada “Tong” Pacasum Jr. and Dr. Rohanisah Dipatuan-Dimaporo said they hoped the Senate could pass the measure soon and for President Duterte to make good on his promise to help Marawi get back on its feet by signing the measure into law.

Dimaporo said the compensation would expectedly fast-track the war-torn city’s rehabilitation and bring it back to life.

MRCW has been lobbying for the measure’s enactment since 2018. It also participated in legislative hearings that considered the issue of compensating displaced families.

“The real Marawi is not about buildings, schools, marketplaces and parks to be erected but the people … They are truly the beating heart of Marawi. Until we are not able to help them go back to their homes with dignity, there is no real rebuilding of Marawi,” said Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman, who was among those who first filed a bill on Marawi compensation in 2018.

Computation

Under the House version of the measure, compensation is provided for properties affected by the implementation of the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program and “programs that require the demolition of private property for the search and recovery of unexploded ordnance.”

Compensation can also be claimed for properties that were demolished or destroyed “due to the 2017 Marawi armed conflict.”

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The computation of monetary value is patterned after the scheme under Republic Act No. 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act, in which financial amount is based on the severity of the human rights violation committed against a person, assessed through a point system.

According to HB 9925, the compensation for the displaced Marawi families must not exceed that received by the human rights victims from P176,779 to P1,767,790 under the mechanism of RA 10368. —WITH A REPORT FROM JULIE S. ALIPALA

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TAGS: Marawi City, rehab, Senate
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