Gov’t urged: Fast track Marawi compensation board creation

A consortium of civil society organizations in Marawi City is calling on the government to fast-track the creation and identification of Marawi Compensation Board members to immediately process the claims of the 2017 siege victims.

Members of the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch — an independent and neutral multi-stakeholder group — is urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to hasten the implementation of the Republic Act 11696 or the Marawi Siege Compensation Act of 2022, which was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte on 23 April this year.

Jalilah Sapiin, senior technical education and skills development specialist of the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education in Lanao del Sur, said there is a need for the government to promptly implement the Marawi compensation law since it was already six months have passed following its enactment into law.

“We appeal to President Bongbong Marcos to expedite and make transparent the vetting process of the composition of the Marawi Compensation Board,” Sapiin said.

She added that the government should consider identifying members that have deep knowledge and understanding of the context Marawi siege and the culture of Maranaos who have been severely affected by the war.

“To ensure that the process of rehabilitation and compensation is appropriate and does not exacerbate conflict,” Sapiin said.

The law grants the creation of a board headed by a chairperson and eight members and the primary task of the MCB members is to facilitate the tax-free payment of reparations to “qualified claimants” who lost residential and commercial properties during the five-month-long Marawi siege that started on 23 May 2017.

Meantime, Early Response Network convenor Saripada Pacasum Jr. raised concerns over the profiling management of various agencies to the siege victims, saying that many internally displaced individuals — particularly home-based IDPs — have demanded for their inclusion in the profiling.

“It is high time for the government to take serious steps in validating the various profiling done by different agencies and come up with an honest profiling of victims and affected individuals to ensure that the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Law is implemented in an inclusive, transparent, and judicious manner,” Pacasum said.

Pacasum said there are Marawi hostage survivors and victims who are not residents of Marawi but were also affected by the siege such as employees, service workers, and transient residents that should be included in the profiling of the government.

The profiling of Marawi residents will be used to identify the “qualified claimants” of the compensation.

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