ILIGAN CITY – The Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) has received claims from the 2017 siege amounting to more than PHP9.1 billion.
In a statement on Friday, MCB Secretary Sittie Raifah Pamaloy-Hassan said the board has collected 6,048 claims from July 4 to Sept. 30 this year which represented the loss of lives and structural damage during the five-month siege.
As of September, she said they have evaluated 362 claims out of the total number which amounts to more than PHP1 billion.
The evaluation of claims is being expedited as the sixth anniversary of the liberation of Marawi City will be commemorated on Oct. 17.
The MCB has also provided information drives so that claimants will be aware of the requirements for claiming assistance.
The MCB is a government agency tasked with providing compensation to individuals and entities who were affected by the siege in 2017 under the Republic Act 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022.
To help resolve the concerns raised by the displaced families, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez said she talked with the National Housing Authority to come up with plans to address the expiration of the contract of the dwellers to stay in temporary shelters in this city.
She said she would also coordinate with the city government to discuss how they could transfer the affected residents to permanent sites.
Gutierrez said she would spare sufficient time, be committed, and have constant coordination and communication with the constituents to let them know that efforts for them would be continuous, and their needs would be addressed.
Meanwhile, the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW) estimated that 23,000 victims are expected to be assisted by the MCB.
MRCW member McMillan Lucman said the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) support is a realization of the government's promise.
“We hope that with this commitment, we will see an increase in the budget for the Marawi Compensation Fund for 2024," he said.
On Sept. 29, the House of Representatives concluded debates on the proposed 2024 budget for MCB amounting to PHP1.11 billion.
The agency's proposed budget for 2024 will be used to continue compensating victims of the siege and to help rebuild the city.
DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has been working closely with the MCB to ensure the claims are processed and approved as quickly as possible.
She said the DBM understands the importance of compensating the victims of the Marawi siege as soon as possible so that they can rebuild their lives.
Jalilah Sapiin, resident and also a member of MRCW, said there were 4,000 out of more than 20,000 who were able to file for compensation because the rest are still processing their documents.
"Others would even borrow money just to process their claims. A lot of siege victims in temporary shelters have not yet filed for compensation," she said. (PNA)