CHR lauds House adoption of Marawi siege compensation bill | Inquirer News

CHR lauds House adoption of Marawi siege compensation bill

/ 07:04 PM February 16, 2022

Marawi City Rehab CHR

(FILE) The bullet-ridden Mindanao Islamic Center (balcony photo), in a photo taken in 2017, stands amid ruined structures following the five-month war between government troops and Islamic State-linked terrorist in Marawi City. —JEOFFREY

MANILA, Philippines — The move by the House of Representatives to adopt the Senate’s version of the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act is a step closer to rebuilding the war-torn city, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Wednesday.

Lawyer and CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement that if enacted, Senate Bill No. 2420 will solve problems on the rebuilding of Marawi City — by facilitating the tax-free payment of reparations to qualified beneficiaries in the city.


Huge parts of Marawi were destroyed after Islamic State sympathizers from the Maute Group laid siege on the city in 2017, in an attempt to start a caliphate in the country.  The fighting, which lasted over five months, displaced a lot of residents in the area.


“This move helps ensure the immediate transmittal of the legislative measure to Malacañang for the Chief Executive’s signature,” De Guia said.  “The bill, if enacted into law, will solve the problem of rebuilding houses of those affected by the siege through the creation of Marawi Compensation Board.”

“The body will facilitate the tax-free payment of reparations to qualified claimants who lost their residential and commercial properties due to the siege. This is a boost to the morale of the people of Marawi who have endured so much loss and years of displacement,” she added.

READ: Maute caliphate plan for Marawi busted – Palace

READ: Key facts about a tumultuous Tuesday in Marawi City

Over four years after Marawi City was recovered by government forces, there are still complaints on the slow-pace of rehabilitation.  Task Force Bangon Marawi, the government arm tasked to facilitate rehabilitation, said that as of December 2021, 80 percent of the city’s public facilities had been rebuilt.

However, the government has set December 31, 2021 as the deadline for the completion of the rehabilitation plan — a deadline adjusted several times due to several factors like budgetary concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic.


READ: 4 years after siege, Marawi folk desperate to trek back home

READ: Gov’t sets Dec. 31 target to finish Marawi rehab

But the CHR noted that many parts of Marawi, despite the figures, are still not under livable conditions.

“However, funds released were only for government infrastructures and not for the reconstruction of houses and buildings of residents affected by the siege. Thus, many of the so-called ‘Most Affected Areas’ in Marawi remain uninhabitable,” De Guia explained.

“CHR is hopeful that the President will swiftly sign the bill into law to help private individuals and families rebuild their lives and properties. Their plight deserves urgent action by the government in recognition of their exacerbated vulnerability and prolonged displacement,” she added.

The Marawi Advocacy Accompaniment (MAA) earlier called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to speed up efforts to rebuild Marawi City.

The group made the call in order for affected residents and displaced communities to return home.

READ: 4 years after siege, Marawi folk, leaders urge gov’t to prioritize reconstruction

Duterte’s stance towards the Marawi rehabilitation has changed over time.  In October 2021, the Chief Executive assured the public that the government is doing its best to rebuild the city.

READ: Duterte vows gov’t doing its best to ‘expedite’ Marawi rehab

But in April 2019, Duterte was quoted saying that he would just ask rich businessmen in Marawi to spend for the city’s rehab, saying that he does not think that the government should spend for the restoration of their buildings.

READ: Duterte vows gov’t doing its best to ‘expedite’ Marawi rehab

With reports from Jericho Zafra, trainee

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TAGS: CHR, House of Representatives, Marawi siege, Maute group, Philippine news updates, Senate

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