MARAWI CITY – Residents who were displaced when this city became a battlefield between government forces and the militants affiliated with the Islamic State six years ago will finally be compensated following the signing on Tuesday, May 23, of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11696, of the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022.
MEMBERS of the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) sign the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11696, or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022, during the ceremonial IRR signing in Ground Zero, Marawi City, on Tuesday, May 23. (Franck Dick Rosete)
Under the IRR, eligible claimants who successfully comply with the necessary requirements and undergo evaluation will be compensated for their damaged properties during the five-month long conflict that started on May 23, 2017.
The victims rejoiced and considered this day – the ceremonial signing of the IRR conducted by the Marawi Siege Compensation Board (MCB) – the biggest day in their lives.
"Siyempre masayang-masaya kasi matagal namin hinahantay para makauwi o mabayaran ‘yung nasira sa amin (Of course, we are very happy because we waited this for so long so that we can go home or we can be compensated for the (properties) that have been damaged from us)," Noraisa Macabiro, 53, of Barangay South Madaya, said.
Macabiro, an internally displaced person (IDP) whose residence was damaged during the conflict, has been living in a shelter with her family since that battle.
Jaslia Abbas, 47, a resident of Barangay Moncado Colony and also a Marawi siege victim, confirmed that many IDPs were seeking ways on how to go home to their respective places, especially those who were previously residing at Ground Zero, the main battle area during the siege, but they are financially incapable of doing so.
JASLIA Abbas, a resident of Barangay Moncado Colony and also a Marawi siege victim, answers questions from the press during the ceremonial signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 11696, or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022, in Ground Zero, Marawi City, on Tuesday, May 23. (Franck Dick Rosete)
The barangays of South Madaya and Moncado Colony are two of the 24 main affected areas (MAA) in Marawi City. There were also eight other barangays that have been considered other affected areas (OAA).
MCB chairman Maisara Dandamun-Latiph said the board will start accepting applications from claimants after they announce the date of commencement and the date of termination 15 days after the publication of the IRR. The IRR was published on Tuesday, May 23.
"We are very positive and optimistic that the implementation of the law will be proper, timely, and effective," Dandamun-Latiph said in her opening message during a press conference on Tuesday. She assured the dissemination of the announcement in order to fully inform the Marawi siege victims.
The MCB explained that claimants must completely comply with the requirements. For those victims who were unable to get their personal documents due to the war, the board said they could obtain the required documents from the city government of Marawi and other national agencies.
To further extend its wings, the MCB will also have a satellite office in Iligan City, apart from Marawi, to cater to more applications from eligible beneficiaries. Meanwhile, the list of requirements for the claimants can also be seen in the IRR.
Under Section 41 of the IRR, for the totally damaged structures, the eligible claimants will receive P18,000 per square meter for pure concrete, P13,500 per square meter for mixed concrete and wood, and P9,000 per square meter for pure wood.
On the other hand, for the partially damaged structures, the eligible claimants will receive P12,000 per square meter for pure concrete, P9,000 per square meter for mixed concrete and wood, and P6,000 per square meter for pure wooden structures.
The Department of Budget and Management has allocated an initial amount of P1 billion for the current year, and the amount will solely be allocated for the compensation of the war victims.
However, if the compensation of the claimants in the current year would reach beyond the P1-billion fund, MCB board member Romaisa Mamutuk said the release of compensation for the excess claimants would be conducted in the following year since they already proposed P7 billion worth of funds for the fiscal year of 2024.
Macabiro said she has the complete documents, and the compensation from the Philippine government would be a huge help for them.