House OKs on 2nd reading Marawi compensation bill

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading a proposal providing monetary compensation for residents affected by the Marawi City siege.

The chamber passed via voice vote House Bill 9925, otherwise known as the proposed Marawi Compensation Act, which seeks to provide compensation to qualified claimants for the loss or destruction of residential and commercial properties as a result of the 2017 armed conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and terrorist groups in Marawi City.

Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman said an estimated 95 percent of the infrastructure was damaged in the main battle area, which is “definitely one of the greatest challenges” facing the government’s rehabilitation effort in Marawi.

“The armed fighting not only created housing problems but livelihood issues of the residents, as well. It is, therefore, the duty of the State to address the loss and destruction of property of Marawi City residents,” Hataman said.

The bill proposes to institutionalize the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) to attain the objectives set in the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Program (MRPP), as well as provide for the compensation to those who lost their homes and other properties to the siege.

A compensation subcommittee under the TFBM shall be formed to receive all claims and resolve claims filed within 30 working days.

Under the measure, lawful owners or possessors who have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of the destruction of their private property due to the siege may file a claim with the compensation subcommittee.

Private property owners shall be granted a replacement cost for loss or destruction of property resulting from the MRRRP.

The replacement cost shall be based on the current market value of the improvements and structure as determined by the implementing agency, a government financial institution with adequate experience in property appraisal, or an independent property appraiser.

While there is no specific amount regarding the allocation for compensation, the budgetary requirement shall be sourced from the following year’s General Appropriations Act upon ratification into law.

The subcommittee shall be mandated to resolve the claim for compensation within 30 working days after the receipt of the application.

The TFBM was created under Administrative Order No. 3 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 28, 2017, to ensure collaboration and convergence among national agencies and the local government units.

TFBM facilitates the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction efforts in the war-torn city after the Islamic State-linked Maute group stormed Marawi on May 23, 2017. It also seeks to help displaced families to recover from the tragedy brought by the siege. Philippine News Agency

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