It has been four years since the Marawi City siege and it is about time that the residents displaced by the five-month long armed conflict are able to rebuild their homes and their lives, Senator Sonny Angara said today.
“Though we emerged victorious, there is no such thing as a war without death, damage, or destruction. While up to 1,200 individuals were killed on both sides of the siege, it was estimated that up to P17 billion worth of property and economic opportunities were lost,” Angara said.
More than 350,000 people were also displaced due to the conflict, though this has gone down to 126,000 according to a May 2020 United Nations report.
“The biggest casualty were the hopes and dreams of the proud Maranao people,” Angara said.
As the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Angara reported out the committee report on Senate Bill 2420 which seeks to provide just compensation to the victims of the Marawi City siege for the damage, loss, or destruction of their properties.
The bill was filed in substitution of Senate Bills 1395 introduced by Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, Senators Ronald Dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, Bong Go, and Imee Marcos; and 2394 by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Richard Gordon.
Under the bill, tax-free monetary compensation will be provided to the owners of residential, cultural or commercial structures within Marawi’s Most Affected Areas (MAA) and Other Affected Areas (OAA).
The MAA includes 24 barangays, namely Lumbac Madaya, South Madaya, Raya Madaya 1 and 2, Sabala Amanao, Sabala Amanao Proper, Tolali, Daguduban, Norhaya Village, Banggolo Poblacion, Bubong Madaya, Lilod Madaya, Dansalan, Datu sa Dansalan, Sangkay Dansalan, Moncado Colony, Moncado Kadilingan, Marinaut West, Marinaut East, Kapantaran, Wawalayan Marinaut, Lumbac Marinaut, Tuca Marinaut at Datu Naga.
On the other hand, the OAA covers 8 other barangays, namely Saduc Proper, Panggao Saduc, Raya Saduc, Lilod Saduc, Datu Saber, Bangon, Fort at Wawalayan Caloocan.
Compensation will also be provided to the owners of private properties that were demolished as part of the implementation of the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program.
While many of the infrastructure projects, including the reconstruction of the roads, bridges, government buildings, health center, madrasah and even a mosque have already been completed, most of the homes of the displaced Marawi residents have yet to rebuilt.
Angara noted that the residents were not immediately allowed to return to their homes due to the presence of unexploded ordnance left by the conflict.
For those who were allowed a brief visit to their homes to salvage whatever possessions they had left, what they found were just rubble.
The Task Force Bangon Marawi has given the green light for some residents to return to Marawi and rebuild their homes, on the condition that they are able to secure building permits.
“Ngunit bukod sa marami ang nahihirapan ibigay ang kinakailangang proof of ownership para sa permit na ito, mas marami ang walang pondo para simulant ang muling pagtayo ng kanilang tahanan,” Angara said.
“Ito ang tinutumbok ng ating panukalang batas. Walang saysay kasi ang anumang rehabilitasyon ng Marawi kung hindi makakauwi ang mga taga Marawi. At kapag may bayad-pinsala o compensation silang matatanggap para sa property nila na nasira o nawasak, mas meeenganyo silang magsimula at itayo muli ang kanilang buhay sa Marawi,” Angara added.
A Marawi Compensation Board will be created to administer the distribution of compensation to the claimants.
The Board will consist of nine members—at least three of whom should be members of the Philippine Bar, preferably Maranao lawyers with five years practice. The board should also have one licensed physician; one certified public accountant; one educator and one licensed civil engineer.
“October 23 marks the fourth year anniversary of the end of the Marawi City siege, a very dark and bloody chapter in the attainment of self-rule and autonomy of our Bangsamoro brethren in Mindanao,” Angara said.
“But even the longest urban siege in the history of the Philippines could not stop the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which we all believe opens an even brighter, more prosperous chapter not only for the BARMM region, but also for Mindanao, as well as the rest of the country. Indeed with peace shall come prosperity.”
The House of Representatives passed its counterpart measure earlier this month with 126 votes in its favor. ###