The Marcos regime slash compensation for Marawi City displaced residents

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Residents who still have not been able to return to their communities after the Armed Forces of the Philippines bombed their homes in 2017 held a protest on May 13 at Rizal Park in Marawi City.

They condemned the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) for severely cutting down the compensation or damages they deserve to rebuild their destroyed houses and properties. Instead of giving them sufficient funds to rebuild their dwellings, the MCB came up with a new “method” of calculating damages deducting the “depreciation cost” of their properties from the compensation. This is to deliberately push down their “market value”.

This is contrary to the procedure earlier prescribed in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act, the protesters said. This law stipulates compensation based on the “fair market value” resulting from consultations with claimants, or the “replacement cost” or “repair cost” of completely destroyed or partially damaged residential, cultural and commercial buildings. This IRR set the compensation at ₱6,000 to ₱13,500 per square meter, depending on the type of house or structure. The MCB does not have the authority to change the calculation standards already stated in the law, the residents said.

“Depreciation cost” is property value [decrease] caused by age, damages or defects. In the MCB calculation, the older the house, the greater the depreciation cost, thus requiring less compensation. Because of this, victims receive less than half of what they actually need.

MCB used an ordinance (Ordinance No. 02, Series of 2021) of the Provincial Council of Lanao Del Sur as the basis for setting the “depreciation cost.” However, this ordinance was passed to set the tax imposed on the structures, and not for compensation, the protesters said.

Using the “depreciation table” of the ordinance, the set compensation of a claimant will automatically be cut by more than 60% if his house is made of concrete and has been standing for 10 years before it was bombed by the AFP. Other claimants fared worse with their compensation reduced by up to 85%. An example of this is the family that had a house worth ₱500,000 but will only receive ₱80,000 because their house is made of light materials and it already 10 years old before the bomb destroyed it.

Residents said the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act’s implementation using the MCB’s procedure is unjust. They demand from successive regimes their seven-year long pursuit of justice.

MCB’s records say 100,000 residents of Marawi have to be compensated for damages. The ₱1 billion allotted by the Marcos regime in 2023 is far from enough. In fact, in just four days after the MCB started the compensation process, ₱800 million was already depleted, which covered only 2,013 claimants.

AB: The Marcos regime slash compensation for Marawi City displaced residents