DEPUTY Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Saturday said the proposed Marawi Compensation Bill will allow siege victims a dignified return to their beloved city.
“Dapat maipasa na natin itong Marawi Compensation Bill, para naman may dignidad na ang mga kababayan nating taga-Marawi sa kanilang pag-uwi sa kanilang bayan at sa kanilang pagbangon mula sa pagkakalugmok sa hirap,” Hataman said.
Hataman reiterated his appeal to the President to certify as urgent the measure that would provide compensation to hundreds of thousands of victims of the 2017 Marawi siege, saying this would enable them to “return with dignity” to their homeland.
“Apat na taon na simula nang mangyari ang giyera sa Marawi, pero malabo pang makauwi ang ating mga kababayang naging biktima doon. Pero sana naman pag pwede na silang umuwi ay ‘wag naman sanang kawawa. Naghintay na sila ng matagal, wag na sana nating dagdagan ang hirap nila,” said Hataman, one of the principal authors of the compensation measure.
It has been signed and co-authored by at least 125 representatives, including Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin G. Romualdez, Minority Leader Kit Belmonte and many other senior officers of the chamber.
“And the President will be leaving a lasting legacy if he decides to certify the measure as urgent. Tinitingala po kayo bilang ama ng ating bansa, na kapwa taga-Mindanao at may dugo pang Moro. Sana ay matulungan ang ating mga kababayan sa Marawi,” Hataman said.
Hataman made the call on the eve of the 4th anniversary of the fateful siege on Marawi, saying the fact that the rehabilitation of the city dragged on this long is enough reason to fast-track the enactment of the Marawi Compensation Bill.
According to reports, Task Force Bangon Marawi pegged December of 2021 as its deadline on the rehabilitation efforts in the Most Affected Areas (MAA) of Marawi.
Before that day, no one is allowed to return to the MAA, where a majority of the population is concentrated before the siege, Hataman said.
“And while we wait for the promised deadline that has been long overdue, what assistance do the siege victims get from the government? Kung meron man, kulang na kulang at hindi pa lahat nabibigyan. Walang forum na pwedeng mareklamuhan kundi social media at sa media lang,” Hataman said.
“This is why the approval of this measure will be a welcome relief for these victims. Hindi man kayang pantayan ang paghihirap nila, meron silang konting pampagawa ng bahay, pantustos sa pangangailangan o pansimula ng negosyo,” he added.
The consolidated substitute bill has been approved by the House committee on disaster resilience last September 2020 and has since been pending in the House committee on appropriations.
“Over 40% of the House co-authored the bill. So I call on the rest of my colleagues in the lower house to give the measure a final push and see to its approval,” Hataman said.
“I also call on our esteemed colleagues in the Senate to include this measure in its priority list. Sama sama po nating tulungan ang mga taga-Marawi,” Hataman added.