Residents of the southern Philippine city of Marawi who were displaced by the five-month fighting between government forces and terrorist groups in 2017 welcomed the passage on Monday, January 31, of the proposed compensation law for those who lost their properties due to the conflict.
“We are one step closer to enacting the law that will help [Marawi’s displaced people] rebuild their lives,” read a statement from the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch and the group International Alert.
A version of the bill passed the House of Representatives in September last year.
“The provision of just compensation for victims of the Marawi siege will go a long way in helping them attain justice,” read the statement as the groups called on both Houses of Congress “to work hard towards consolidating the two versions (of the bill) for its final passage and signing by the president.”
Senate Bill No. 2420, or the proposed Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act, mandates the creation of a Marawi Compensation Board that will facilitate the tax-free payment of reparations to individuals displaced by the conflict.
The compensation covers “qualified claimants” who lost their residential and commercial properties due to the shooting war. The measure also grants private property owners a “replacement cost” for loss or destruction of property.
Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, chairman of Task Force Bangon Marawi, said the passage of the bill is a “huge boost” to the people of the city to rebuild their lives.
“This will ensure the totality of the government-led rehabilitation of Marawi City with the reconstruction of public infrastructures, which is now in the final stages,” said the government official.
He said the compensation bill’s final approval will allow private individuals “not only to rebuild their properties but also rebuild their lives.”