Compensation for Marawi siege survivors sought

Survivors of the Marawi siege should be given compensation  while waiting for rehabilitation.

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan  filed House Bill 3543 seeking to compensate victims of the five-month Marawi Siege over two years ago, citing the current deplorable state of the evacuated residents.

The  bill “Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2019“ seeks to quantify and eventually legislate payment for lost, damaged or destroyed properties of victims of the 2017 Marawi crisis.

“If this urgent piece of legislation passes into law, it will address the grievances of our fellow Meranaw who have survived the Marawi siege and, yet, continue to suffer due to a continuous cycle of injustice,” said Hataman, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“As the bill goes through the legislative process, we need every ounce of support from our Maranaw brothers and sisters whose strength sustains their calls for justice. We also seek support from the rest of the Filipino people, whose solidarity is necessary for this bill to pass as a national expression of the government’s commitment to its people,” he added.

One of the most important provisions of HB 3543 is the granting of monetary compensation for real estate properties damaged or destroyed during the siege.

The bill pegged the amount at P1,500 per square meter for residences and P2,000 per square meter for commercial structures.

“Two years after the Marawi siege, it is heartbreaking that many Maranaw families affected by the crisis still spend their Eid in tents and temporary shelters. I am with them in their suffering and I pray that their suffering will be eased both in law and in life,” Hataman said.

“I also pray that the rehabilitation of the affected areas will be completed without delay, so that the Maranaw can once again come home to the land of their ancestors, especially the residents of Marawi City,” he added.

The measure seeks  the creation of the Marawi Compensation Board, which will be allocated a P30 billion budget to implement its mandate of compensating property owner victims. The board will have nine members appointed by the President, comprising of representatives from civil society groups, which include the Ulama.

The board’s majority should be lawyers.