“DAPAT, sa buong limang taong buhay na ipinagkaloob ng Kongreso sa Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) ay ma-compensate nito ang lahat ng ating mga kababayang taga-Marawi na nawalan ng mahal sa buhay, gumuho ang mga tahanan at napulbos ang mga kabuhayan nang dahil sa Marawi Siege.”
Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Tuesday urged the MCB to develop a roadmap on how it will go about its gargantuan task of compensating tens of thousands of Marawi Siege victims.
“I highly encourage the MCB to formulate a five-year roadmap. Yes, Congress can always extend its life, but it is always good to aim high and achieve all the objectives of the board within the time allotted to it. Yan ang kailangang pag-aralan ng MCB,” Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct ARMM, said.
“And kailangan din kasi makita ng DBCC kung ano ang complete plan and strategies ng MCB to justify a bigger allocation in the budget. Sana nakalagay doon sa roadmap saan napunta ang first P1B, kung naging effective ba ito o hindi, at bakit? Bakit kailangan bigger allocation? Saan at paano gagamitin?” he added.
The Basilan lawmaker lamented that for the second straight year, the Development and Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has allotted only P1 billion for the Marawi Compensation Fund.
“The DBCC allocated only P1 billion for the Marawi Compensation Program for 2023 and 2024: Does this mean that the Marawi victims will get only P1 billion for every year that the MCB is in operation? Mukhang hindi kasya ang P5 billion sa compensation, baka nga hindi man lang maka-kalahati,” Hataman noted.
“Kaya gusto nga nating malaman sa DBCC kung anong basis nila ng P1 billion a year para sa Marawi Compensation Program. And the MCB, for its part, should come up with a credible figure on the costs of compensation, backed up by actual data,” he added.
During the hearing of the joint congressional oversight committee on the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022 last Sept. 11, the MCB said that from July 4 to Aug. 31, it received a total of 4,762 filed claims, which translates to roughly P17.46 billion for claims filed in just two months.
The MCB expects an estimated 23,489 claimants booked until the end of December 2023.
“According to the MCB, it receives over 200 claims a day, makes 150 recommendations a week and renders about 600 decisions in a month. Ang pagbaha ng claims ay inaasahan naman natin dahil mahigit anim na taong naghintay ang ating mga kababayang taga-Marawi para dito,” Hataman stated.
“So far, the MCB has a total of over 4,000 claimants. Paano magkakasya ang P1 billion a year? Naghintay na sila ng mahigit anim na taon para lang mabigay ang hinihintay nila, ngayon maghihintay ba sila ulit ng matagal para maisama sa mga mabibigyan? At mahabang hintayan yan kung P1 billion a year lang,” he said.
“Kaya dapat sana MCB should justify the need for bigger allocations, bigger than P1 billion budget a year.”
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) present during yesterday’s hearing said that out of the more than 11,000 structures, they already validated 4,310 structures and their estimated cost is around P12.17 billion. Validation means that the property/structure and its owner have been ascertained.