There is an outpour of support for the House of Representatives measure seeking to provide compensation to the people of Marawi City who have been suffering from the effects of the siege in 2017.
Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, one of the primary authors of House Bill (HB) No. 3543 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act together with Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan, said that some 94 lawmakers have signed the measure as co-authors, bringing support to the measure to more than 30 percent of the Chamber.
"Marami tayong kasama dito sa Kongreso na naniniwala na dapat magkaroon ng compensation ang mga taga-Marawi na naging biktima ng digmaan. Alam nating hindi mababayaran ng pera ang buhay, bahay at kabuhayang nawala, pero makakatulong ito sa pagbangon ng ilan sa ating mga kapatid sa Marawi," Hataman, a former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said.
"At nagpapasalamat ako sa mga kasama natin sa Kongreso na sumusuporta sa bill na ito, pati na rin sa panukala nila Lanao del Sur Reps. Ansaruddin Adiong at Yasser Alonto-Balindong. Sana magtuloy-tuloy itong maging batas sa lalong madaling panahon at magkaroon naman tayo ng ayuda para sa mga taga-Marawi na dalawang taon nang naghihintay ng tulong," he added.
Hataman said the enactment of the measure is of utmost importance, as the people of Marawi City commemorates the second anniversary of the liberation of the city from violent extremists on Oct. 17.
Among those who sought co-authorship of the Marawi compensation measure include House Deputy Speakers Paolo Duterte, Ferdinand Hernandez, Evelina Escudero, Prospero Pichay Jr., Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Johnny Pimentel, Raneo Abu, Neptali Gonzales II, Dan Fernandez, Baby Arenas, Pablo John Garcia, DV Savellano and Michael Romero, as well as Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
Hataman also bared that the proposal to create a House sub-committee on Marawi under the House Committee on Disaster Management has been met with a favorable response from the House leadership.
"It is fitting because Lanao Rep. Adiong will chair the said committee. Para mas maka-focus tayo sa concerns ng Marawi. Mas mabibigyan natin ng boses ang mga taga-Marawi kung may isang komite na nakatutok dito," he said.
The former community organizer, along with Rep. Sangcopan, met with civil society organizations (CSOs) in Marawi a few weeks ago where they asked them to close ranks and speak in "one strong and loud voice" for a meaningful impact in the rehabilitation efforts.
Among the concerns raised during last month's meeting involved the ongoing demolition of damaged structures in Marawi and the cases of missing civilians that have yet to be resolved.
"Sana habang sinisimulan na ang demolition ng mga bahay at building sa Marawi, bilisan na rin ang pagpapasa ng Compensation Bill upang mapawi na ang mga agam-agam ng ating mga kababayan. I believe compensation will have a profound impact on the people more than what they will get for agreeing to demolish their properties," Hataman noted.
HB 3543 is currently making the rounds in the House of Representatives to gather more signatures. ###