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Activists are urging the House to pass the Senate’s Marawi Compensation bill.

The Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022, which was recently approved by the Senate in its third and final reading, has been endorsed by a collection of civic and non-government organizations monitoring the status of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the 2017 Marawi City siege.

The Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch and International Alert Philippines issued a joint statement Tuesday evening urging the House to enact Senate Bill (SB) 2420 so that it can be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the elections.

“The House’s monumental gesture in adopting the Senate version will symbolize the legislative’s commitment and recognition of the state’s moral and legal obligation to the full recovery of the Meranaw IDPs whose lives have been suspended in this long process of rehabilitation and recovery of Marawi City and its people,” according to the group.

Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong, the bill’s original author in the House in the previous 17th Congress and the principal author in the current 18th Congress, said he was glad the Senate adopted most of the bill’s original provisions in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

Adiong expressed the hope that the Senate modifications would be adopted by the House before the January 31 to February 4 recess.

“As the bill’s author, I’ve suggested that the Senate version be adopted by our good committee, which is chaired by our industrious Congresswoman Lucy Torres. I am hoping that we will be able to adopt it before the adjournment on Wednesday (February 2), so that we will no longer have a bicam (bicameral) and that it will be given to the President for his signature “he stated

The creation of the Marawi Compensation Board, an independent and quasi-judicial body with nine members that will select qualifying beneficiaries, is one of the most important aspects of SB 2420.

Another is the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Program, under which the government will pay private property owners in development-affected areas.

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