Marawi City targets compensating siege victims beginning May

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — A Marawi City board aims to start compensating by May owners of properties destroyed during the 2017 siege and the heirs of those who died due to the armed conflict.

Marawi Compensation Board Chairperson Maisara Dandamun-Latiph said they expect around 17,800 households from 32 affected barangays to file a claim.

“Naghintay po sila for almost six years, so nandito na po kami, at handa po kami na i-process at i-award po sa mga lawful claimants ang inyong monetary compensation,” she said in a public briefing on Thursday.

“Hopefully po mangyayari po 'yan within this coming month of May, June, up to December,” she added.

[Translation: They waited for almost six years, and now we’re here, ready to process and award monetary compensation to lawful claims. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that this coming May, June, up to December.]

Dandamun-Latiph noted that the board was allotted a ₱1 billion budget this year for initial payments to victims.

Under Republic Act (RA) 11696, or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022, any owner of a residential, cultural, or commercial structure, or other properties in affected areas, is entitled to a tax-free payment from the state.

Compensation will also be given to the heirs of those killed in the war, which broke out between government forces and terrorists, as well as of those who are legally presumed dead.

According to Amnesty International, 920 Islamic State-linked militants, 165 soldiers and 47 civilians were killed in the so-called Battle of Marawi, which lasted for five months. The conflict also displaced some 360,000 people in the city and surrounding areas.

Dandamun-Latiph said the claims for compensation shall be filed within one year after the application commenced.

These will be evaluated by the board, whose nine members took their oath just this year.

The chairperson added they are now working with other government agencies to finalize the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11696, which will detail the process that claimants must undergo to receive the payout.

Dandamun-Latiph also reported that 85% of the city’s rehabilitation has been completed, according to the latest update from the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

“Ang kulang na lang po ay patubig, so wino-workout po ito ng LWUA (Local Water Utilities Administration) na magkaroon ng tubig dito sa most affected area ng Marawi, dahil wala pa po talagang tubig sa ground zero,” she said.

[Translation: What’s lacking is water in the most affected area of Marawi, so the LWUA is addressing this because there’s still no water in ground zero.]