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FORMER Assemblyman Yasir Naga did not mind the small queue of residents moving from one table to another answering the questions of the compensation claims office staff in Barangay Marinaut West here on Tuesday.
Like others, the Naga is applying for compensation for the properties his family lost in the five-month battle between government troops and Islamic State-inspired Maute-ISIS gunmen that destroyed much of the culture and commerce. district in Marawi City in 2017.
Naga, who is a member of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the defunct Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm), applied for P53-million compensation for the loss of their properties — Pacasum College, their ancestral house, and a commercial building. — which was completely destroyed by firing and fighting.
He and other claimants finished their application filing in less than an hour despite the presence of many people.
“I hope that we will be paid in December because, like other war victims, we have suffered for a long time,” said Naga.
Under Republic Act No. 116961, or better known as the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022, the government provided P1 billion to compensate Marawi residents who lost their properties or had relatives who died because of the fighting.
Lawyer Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, chair of the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB), said there are three steps that claimants must go through to apply for compensation, namely, filing claims, review of documents, then payment of claims.
Latiph said that the P1 billion allocated is not enough to pay the estimated 100,000 claimants. He hopes Congress will provide P7 billion more to cover the 2024 payment.
Based on the MCB Implementing Rules and Regulations, Latiph said that concrete structures that have been completely destroyed will receive P18,000 per square meter as compensation and P12,000 per square meter if partially damaged.
Latiph said that the owners of structures made of mixed concrete and wood will receive P9,000 per square meter.
He said that the heirs of those who died during the excavation will receive P350,000.
“The burden of proof is on the claimants. They should provide documents, affidavits, and police reports to prove their claims,” said Latiph to reporters here.
He said that all the documents submitted by the claimants will be checked against the data gathered in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources “Katagombalay” information system; Kathanor profiling by the Task Force Bangon Marawi that collects the number, location, status, and other characteristics of the affected residents; and the Geographic Information System provided by the NGO International Alert.
Latiph said that they also have records of claims made by 12,500 residents of “ground zero” in Marawi, which are now kept by the provincial government of Lanao del Sur.
Marawi residents began filing their claims on July 4 after the MCB published the Implementing Rules and Regulations in national newspapers last June.
According to Latiph on July 18, 1,153 residents filed their claims online and 479 residents chose to file their claims at the MCB compensation office in Barangay Marinaut West.
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