Marawi body sets rules for claims
MARAWI CITY—Jaslia Abbas, whose family lives in a transitory shelter in Rorogagus village here, looks forward to rebuilding their home in Barangay Moncado Colony that was destroyed during the five-month battle between government forces and Islamic State-linked militants who laid siege to the city in 2017.
Abbas is hopeful this will become a reality when she receives compensation for the lost property, as mandated by Republic Act No. 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022.
“Our income from tending a variety store is not enough. With the compensation, we can start over and our children can go to school,” Abbas said.
On Tuesday, exactly six years after the siege broke out, the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB), the body tasked to oversee the compensation process, launched the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), paving the way for the application to start soon.
During the ceremonial signing of the IRR at Rizal Park here, MCB chair Maisara Latiph said the board would announce the start of application for compensation after the IRR had been published in two newspapers of general circulation in the next 15 days.
“The President’s directive is to implement the law as soon as possible. We are positive that the implementation of the law will be proper, timely and effective,” Latiph said.
The MCB projected that for 2024, they would need an additional P7 billion to cover the claims for compensation. This year, the national budget contains an allocation of P1 billion to implement the compensation law.
Based on the IRR, owners of destroyed properties would be paid P18,000 per square meter if the structure was made of concrete, P13,500 per square meter if made of mixed concrete and wood and P9,000 if made of light materials or mainly wood.
Owners of damaged structures would be compensated P12,000 per square meter if their property was concrete, P9,000 per square meter if mixed concrete and wood and P6,000 if made of light materials.Heirs of those who died in the siege would be compensated P350,000.
The drafting of the IRR underwent consultations with the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Task Force Bangon Marawi and the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission. Two public consultations were also held, especially to solicit the views of evacuees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other victims of the siege.
The MCB said it was looking at completing the compensation process within five years, assuming that only legitimate beneficiaries would bring in their applications before the body and claimants were ready to present competent evidence to back their claims.
Maranao civil society leaders welcomed the approved IRR for compensation.
“As I listen to the salient points of the IRR, I cannot help but think of the sacrifices of our IDPs who long endured the challenges of living in temporary shelters, the pain that families needed to go through as they seek justice for their loved ones because of the siege,” said Khuzaimah Maranda of Thuma Inc.
She hoped that the IRR was able to address the queries of the IDPs as far as the compensation for their damaged properties and structures was concerned.
The government marked the sixth year after the siege with the unveiling of more public infrastructure, among these was the reopening of the Bato-Ali mosque and the construction of new school buildings.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto-Adiong lauded the MCB for laying the foundation for the compensation process to proceed, noting that this was expected to drive the rebuilding of private facilities and homes in the provincial capital.
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