IRR for Marawi siege compensation signed
The Manila Times
THE Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) has signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the remuneration of the victims of the Marawi siege. The IRR was signed in Marawi City on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, or exactly six years after the start of the five-month urban warfare between government troops and Islamic State-aligned radicals who destroyed the core of the country’s only Islamic city. Maisara Dandamub-Latiph, MCB chairman, said after the IRR is published in two newspapers of general circulation, the P1 billion tax-free reparation can be rolled out to compensate the residents who lost family members and pieces of property during the siege. “Fifteen days after publication, the real work will begin as the board will start evaluating the claims and schedule the payments,” Dandamub-Latiph said. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier directed the nine-member MCB to facilitate the tax-free reparation payment for victims of the Marawi siege in 2017. Dandamub-Latiph said the Department of Budget and Management had already allotted the P1-billion reparation fund. Lawyer Mabandes Diron Jr., an MCB member, said the government would pay P35,000 per square meter for concrete buildings and P18,000 per square meter for wooden houses destroyed during the war. Diron said the board is authorized to give a P350,000 compensation package to a family member killed in the crossfire during the fighting. Lawyer Moslemen Macarambon Sr., also a member of the board, said MCB would be strict, and will require claimants to provide supporting documents. “If they say their hardware store was burned down, they must present invoices of their stocks. No document means no pay,” Macarambon also said. Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong of Lanao del Sur’s first district reminded the board that its main job is not only to give financial compensation to the affected residents. “The board should see to it that it is just and it should listen to the people who have suffered so much in the past six years,” Adiong said. She said most Marawi residents are still in shock after seeing their city razed to the ground during the fighting. “The bullet-riddled and flattened houses that we see is a constant reminder of the cries of the children who lived in evacuation camps,” Adiong added. Drieza Liningding, chairman of the Marawi Consensus Group, said at least 5,000 families are still living in temporary shelters six years after the Marawi siege, and that they are still struggling to get back their lives. Most of Marawi’s section called the Main Affected Area or MAA, the ground zero where the terrorists made their last stand, is still off-limits to residents although the government has constructed new mosques, buildings and a sprawling sports stadium in the area.