[MINDANAO 2022] From Duterte to Marcos: still a long wait for displaced Marawi residents

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 January) — It’s still a long wait for displaced Marawi residents to return to the villages they left behind in May 2017 as the process to implement the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act to provide monetary compensation that would have allowed them to rebuild their houses and shops has not taken off more than half a year after the law took effect. 

Nearly six years since their displacement, 16,072 families or 80,360 individuals displaced from ‘Ground Zero’ – the former battleground between government forces and the Maute Group — have remained as internally displaced persons (IDPs),  according to the Mindanao Displacement Dashboard of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as of November 30, 2022. 

Ruined buildings await the return of their owners in ‘Ground Zero,’ Marawi City on 1 April 2022. Many displaced residents are waiting for the monetary compensation so they could rebuild their homes and shops. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

As of December 31 or six months after he took over the as President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has yet to name the nine-member Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) which is tasked, among others, to receive, evaluate, process and investigate applications from displaced Marawi residents for compensation for loss of lives and properties due to the 2017 siege. 

Republic Act 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Act of 2022, mandates the board to promulgate the Implementing Rules, Regulations (IRR), ensure the Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) is updated and there is a substantial budget in the 2023 General Appropriations Act to implement the law.

The IRR is supposed to be promulgated by the board in consultation with the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the National Economic Development Authority, “within 60 days from the effectivity” of the law. 

Construction workers walk past damaged buildings inside Marawi City’s “Ground Zero,” the former battleground of the government forces and the Maute Group in 2017, now referred to as the “Most Affected Area” in this photo taken on April 27, 2022. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

RA 11696 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 13 and published in the Official Gazette on April 27.  Reckoned from publication date, it became effective on May 12.  The IRR is supposed to have been promulgated “within 60 days” or on or before July 12, 2022.

Duterte left it to the next President to appoint members to the MCB. 

For the displaced Marawi residents, the year ended in disappointment as no appointment has been issued to constitute the compensation board. 

As of December 31, 2022, Marcos has yet to appoint members of the MCB.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

100 days of Marcos Jr.: still  no Marawi Compensation Board