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Marawi board hopes to start compensating 17,800 families by May

The Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) is targeting May as the start of its distribution of monetary compensation to an estimated 17,800 households affected by the destructive months-long siege of the Islamic City in 2017.

“Ito po yung pinakahihintay po ng mga most affected areas, residents sa Marawi. Nanghintay po sila for almost six years, so nandito na po kami, at handa po kami na i-process at i-award po sa mga lawful claimants ang inyong compensation from May to December,” MBC Chairperson Maisara Dandamun-Latiph said at the PTV public briefing on Thursday.

(This is what the most affected areas, residents of Marawi, have been waiting for. They waited for almost six years, so we are here, and we are ready to process and award compensation to the lawful claimants from May to December.)

In January, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. appointed Dandamun-Latiph and eight other board members to facilitate the tax-free payment of reparations to qualified claimants who lost residential, commercial, and cultural properties in the Marawi siege, under the Republic Act Under 11696.

“Nasa proseso na tayo ng pagbalangkas ng Implementing Rules and Regulations o IRR in consultation with five different agencies. Ang Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Task Force Bangon Marawi, and Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission kasama po iyan sa kukonsultahin natin. Naipadala na natin ang draft ng IRR,” she said.

(We are in the process of drafting the IRR in consultation with five different agencies. The DOF, the DBM, NEDA, Task Force Bangon Marawi, and the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission are among those we will consult with. We have sent the draft of the IRR.)

Dandamun-Latiph said that if there is no opposition from these agencies within 30 days, MCB may open the application process to claimants.

She also said the infrastructure rehabilitation projects in Marawi are now 85% complete.

“Sa recent po na briefing with Task Force Bangon Marawi and together with the Senate, ang latest update po nila ay meron na pong 85% na completion ng rehabilitation ng Marawi City. Sa kasalukuyan po, marami na pong umuwi,” she said.

(In the recent briefing with Task Force Bangon Marawi and together with the Senate, their latest update is that the rehabilitation of Marawi City is  now 85% complete. Many have already returned home.)

However, Dandamun-Latiph stated that there is no water supply in the area, and they are in communication with the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

“Sa ngayon po ay ‘yan ang pending. Dahil ng kuryente po ay nandiyan na, ina-allow na rin po ng Marawi government ang mga residente na bumalik na at simulan na ang kanilang pagbabahay doon sa most affected areas,” she added.

(Right now, that's what is pending. Since there is already electricity, the Marawi government has also allowed the residents to come back and start living in the rehabilitation houses in the most affected areas.)

Meanwhile, today marks the first day of Ramadan, the Holy Islamic month that calls for spiritual reflection through praying, fasting, and abstaining from sinful behavior for Muslims.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection.

Dandamun-Latiph noted that Muslims during Ramadan abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset, serving as a time for self-discipline, spiritual reflection, and acts of charity.

"It's very important for us to fulfill this because it's a time to renew ourselves every year," she said. — BM, GMA Integrated News