Hataman: DBM to increase P1-B allocated for 2024 Marawi compensation
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will increase the P1 billion allocated for the Marawi Compensation Program in 2024, Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said on Wednesday.
Hataman, in a statement, said that the DBM gave him this assurance, as he noted that the current P1 billion set aside for the victims of the 2017 Marawi siege is not enough.
The assurance by the DBM was given through the House committee on appropriations senior vice chair and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo, who was defending the proposed 2024 budget on the floor on Tuesday.
“Tayo ay natutuwa dahil nakakuha tayo ng commitment mula sa DBM na madagdagan ang pondo ng Marawi Compensation Program para sa taong 2024, dahil kulang na kulang ang P1 bilyong nakalaan para sa libo-libong claims na nai-file ng mga biktima ng digmaan sa Marawi,” Hataman said.
(We are happy since we got the commitment from DBM to increase the funds of the Marawi Compensation Program for 2024 because the P1 billion set aside for the thousands of claims filed by victims of the Marawi siege is lacking.)
“I appreciate our mutual belief and sentiment that P1 billion a year is not enough to compensate the claimants of the Marawi Compensation Program. Kaya lubos ang ating pasasalamat sa Appropriations Committee at sa DBM for committing to increase the Marawi Compensation Fund for 2024,” he added.
(I thank the appropriations committee and the DBM for committing to increase the Marawi Compensation Fund for 2024.)
Hataman’s request to the DBM for higher funding, and later the department’s commitment, comes after the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) said that Marawi siege victims had filed over P17 billion in claims.
This came from 4,762 claimants’ applications for compensation submitted from July 4 to August 31.
During the hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, MCB chairperson Maisara Dandamun Latiph said that of the 4,762 claims, only 220 have been assessed — for a total compensation worth of P395 million.
However, Latiph said the 4,762 claims only represent 19 percent of the estimated 23,489 claimants. This led Senator Ronald dela Rosa to conclude that the government would need at least P89 billion to compensate all Marawi siege victims if these individuals file claims.
“These over 4,000 claims have already been verified. Sana man lang makalahati natin ito sa 2024 kasi hindi lang iyan ang kabuuang bilang ng claimants. Mas madami pa, ayon sa MCB,” Hataman said.
(These over 4,000 claims have already been verified. I hope we can even address half of this because that is not the entirety of the claimants. There are more, according to MCB.)
The Basilan lawmaker also said that Quimbo said that DBM would fund the claims as long as these are validated.
“We will assess based on the submission. That’s what DBM said. We can only act once they (MCB) submit a validated list,” Quimbo said in Filipino.
“So, does that mean, Madam Speaker, distinguished sponsor, once they submit the validated list, we will fund the entirety of claims they validated? Because our commitment depends on what they submit?” Hataman asked.
“Yes, as long as these are validated,” Quimbo replied.
With the assurance, Hataman hopes that the DBM and the appropriation committee can find a way to give the Marawi compensation higher funding.
“Matagal naman nang naghintay ang ating mga kababayang taga-Marawi na muling bumalik sa normal at ibangon ang kanilang gumuhong dignidad at mga tahanan. Hangga’t hindi sila nakakabalik sa kanilang mga tirahan at hindi naitatayo ang kanilang mga tahanan, patuloy ang bangungot para sa kanila,” he said.
(People from Marawi have been waiting for a long time for their lives to return to normal and uplift their shattered dignity and homes. If they cannot return home, their nightmares will only continue.)
“Hangad nating magkaroon na ng closure ang mga biktima ng digmaan sa Marawi. Sana ay madagdagan na ang alokasyon para sa Marawi Compensation Program at maka-move on na sila sa kanilang mga buhay,” he added.
(We want closure for the victims of the war in Marawi. I hope we increase allocation for the Marawi Compensation Program so they can move on further with their lives.)