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The Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) REPORTED a significant increase in the number of individuals submitting claims for compensation for their properties that were damaged or destroyed during the prolonged war between government forces and the Dawlah-linked Maute group in Marawi City.
Applications for compensation officially began on July 4, this year and will close on July 3, 2024.
As of July 17, approximately 12,500 individuals have expressed their intention to apply through online appointments, while 4,000 have visited the application site.
The MCB, led by Lawyer Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, implemented a system of appointments to manage the increasing number of claimants.
The board expects nearly 20,000 applicants to submit their relevant documents in December, with an average of 200 to 300 people served each day.
According to government data provided by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) called Kathanor, 17,433 households affected by the siege are expected to file claims.
In addition, 12,500 structures registered under Kathagombalay, the processing of building permits, are eligible for compensation due to destruction or damage.
The tragedy also resulted in at least 1,000 casualties.
Despite the increasing number of applicants, the MCB faces challenges in some cases, especially those involving personal assets.
Various issues arose, such as the tenants participating in the process and the lack of sufficient evidence, such as receipts, police reports, and detailed affidavits outlining the incidents.
The board also emphasized the importance of proper legal documentation and the importance of presenting legitimate requirements, including binding affidavits that provide the necessary details and signatures of the informant.
Despite these challenges, Latiph remains optimistic that the claim application process will ultimately be successful in helping war victims overcome hardship and suffering.
He sees this as an important step towards justice, healing, and restoration of dignity for those affected by the armed conflict.
“This momentous occasion represents an important step towards justice, healing, and restoration of dignity for those affected by the devastating armed conflict,” he said.
He added, “We can see the ray of hope that Marawi will, indeed, rise and live again. We see hope for people to reclaim their lives, dreams, excitement, and happiness.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recognized. the year-long compensation process as an essential initiative for the full recovery of Marawi City.
“The start of filing the application for claims shows the government’s commitment to pave the way towards the full restoration of this important city,” he said.
Pro-Muslim Senator Robin Padilla also supported the event, believing that it will contribute to the speedy recovery of all affected citizens.
“I know that no amount of compensation can make up for what each of you have lost. However, we must consider this payment as a response to the injury and a glimpse into the future of the resurrection of Marawi,” said Padilla.
The MCB received an initial fund of P1 billion from the Department of Budget and Management, which will be used to pay the first batch of qualified claimants, mainly those who disappeared or died this year.
Additional funding is requested to accommodate more beneficiaries in the coming year.
The compensation program aims to pave the way for the revitalization of the city and give hope to the residents of Marawi to regain their lives.
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