Senator Richard J. Gordon today welcomed the passage of Republic Act No. 11696, which awards compensation of the victims of the 2017 Marawi siege.
Gordon, co-author and co-sponsor of the measure, is hopeful that the law will be used as a first step by victims seeking to recover from the horrors of armed conflict.
“With the signing of the law begins an arduous journey towards rebuilding what was lost almost five years ago,” said Gordon.
“Kahit ganoon nang katagal mula nang tumigil ang giyera sa Marawi ay nananatiling sariwa ang alaala ng maraming biktima. Nawa ay makatulong ito upang makagawa ng bago at mas masayang alaala,” he added.
Once the law goes into effect, it will establish a Marawi Compensation Board that will oversee evaluating compensation claims of survivors.
Moreover, survivors from 32 affected areas will be entitled to claim subsidies in restoring residential, cultural, and commercial structures damaged in the wake of the brutal conflict.
Heirs of Marawi residents who lost property but have since died are also entitled in receiving compensation.
Gordon, who also serves as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), remarked that the bill is a big boost especially to the most vulnerable.
“As chairman of the Red Cross, we have personally seen the devastation caused by war. We have been providing aid of up to Php 10,000 per family affected by the disaster,” he remarked.
“We have just finished providing a year’s worth of food supply to a thousand families, and our water tankers remained stationed there,” he continued.
The PRC, the country’s foremost humanitarian organization, has provided livelihood assistance to over 2,300 families since the start of the conflict.
It also set up emergency shelters for almost 3,800 families and provided kits worth Php 1,900.
Through the Peace and Development initiative within the Bangasamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the PRC has also conducted skills training for youth employability.
They also administered 35,000 measles and polio vaccine doses to children in the area to curb the spread of previously arrested diseases.
Moreover, there have been over 14,000 COVID-19 shots given to residents over the past year.