House to address compensation for war-affected properties in Marawi

Published November 19, 2018, 6:00 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The House committee on disaster management is set to consolidate bills providing for compensation of damaged, and lost properties in Marawi City.

Congresswoman Geraldine Roman (Federico Cruz / Manila Bulletin)
Congresswoman Geraldine Roman (Federico Cruz / Manila Bulletin)

Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman noted that there are three bills seeking monetary reparation or monetary compensation for the loss or destruction of private residential homes, other properties and commercial buildings in Marawi City during the 2017 siege.

“We will be consolidating all the three bills and we will address the concern raised [regarding the bills],” she said.

The Roman panel discussed yesterday House Bill 8200, which was authored by Akbayan party-list Rep Tom Villarin.

The two similar bills — House Bill 7711 and House Bill 8099 — were filed by Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong, and Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr.

Villarin welcomed the move of the newly created panel to tackle the bill he authored.

“It is a timely intervention to change the narrative of death and destruction and bring justice to the victims of this human tragedy inflicted by both sides of the conflict. Otherwise, the terrorists’ narrative of martyrdom will be embedded in the minds not just of the victims but to the Maranao people,” he said.

He said his proposed P30-billion Marawi compensation fund “forms part of a transitional justice mechanism that seeks state recognition of the sufferings inflicted on the people of Marawi.”

“It is imperative also that we focus on the victims first rather than to memorialize the atrocities by having a military camp constructed in ground zero,” said Villarin who opposes such move on the part of the military. The AFP is expropriating 10 hectares of land in the 250-hectare affected areas covering 32 barangays,” Villarin said.

HB 8099 seeks a P30-billion Marawi compensation fund to cover reparation and compensation to victims of the siege.

Papandayan said it is the government’s moral obligation to provide monetary reparation for the property losses during the Marawi siege.

“Surviving victims of the siege long to return to their shattered houses and rebuild their homes. While the government has set the stage for the building of Marawi’s public infrastructure, there is an urgent need to address the loss of private homeowners, who have lost their homes, properties, businesses and livelihood due to the bombings and the raging battle between the ISIS and the government forces,” he said.

HB 8099 provides that any owner of residential house, commercial building and other properties in Marawi’s main affected areas and other affected areas shall receive compensation from the State, free of tax.

It allocates a P30-billion funding for the implementation of the proposed “Marawi Siege Victims Reparation Act of 2018.”

The fund shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the next three years in three equal amounts.

While Adiong’s bill proposed P20-billion Marawi Compensation Trust Fund, it provides that the monetary compensation shall be received by qualified claimants “tax free.”