Marawi folk to lawmakers: Pass compensation bill
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—People displaced by the Marawi City siege in 2017 are hopeful that Congress can still pass the proposed law providing compensation for families who lost their properties during the five-month war five years ago.
The local group Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW) called on the Senate to urgently pass the Marawi compensation bill within the remaining days of the current 18th Congress so it could become law before President Duterte steps down from office on June 30 this year.
Sessions in Congress will resume on Jan. 24 after these were suspended due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.
MRCW noted the urgency of legislative action on the compensation measure given that Congress only has four session weeks left before adjourning sine die on June 4.
After crawling through the legislative process since 2018, the House passed the measure in September last year. Under the House version of the measure, compensation is provided for properties destroyed during the conflict or 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.”
Rights of Maranao
The computation 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. The compensation for human rights victims ranged from P176,779 to P1,767,790.
MRCW member Jalilah Sapiin said they already got the commitment of senators to support the Senate version of the bill but “the question now,” he asked, “is how far will that support take us?”
“If they believe in the rights of Maranao (families), and they care about Marawi, I hope they will not tire in pushing for the measure before sessions are adjourned on Feb. 5,” Sapiin added.
Compensation is expected to drive massive reconstruction of private homes, increasing the momentum of the city’s recovery.
The war in 2017, triggered by Islamic State-affiliated radicals who occupied the city, affected 24 villages that comprise the city’s commercial district, the so-called most affected area (MAA).
A profiling done by Task Force Bangon Marawi counted more than 15,000 families displaced from the MAA.
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.