Robin: Find ways to strengthen Marawi compensation fund

SENATOR Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla insisted this Tuesday night that the government needs to find a way to ensure that there is funding for the compensation programs for the victims of the 2017 Marawi Siege.

In his interpellation on the 2024 budget of the Marawi Compensation Board, Padilla pointed out that it should be expedited because the threat of foreign terrorism has not disappeared to attract those who are still mired in poverty.

“This is terrorism that has entered our country and it is foreign and the threat is not going away. This threat is still here. Until we promise that they will get what we can say compensation from the government until we don’t give it, that threat is getting stronger because “That’s what the terrorists will use to convince the children because the majority of those who were influenced by this terrorist were children, they were the ones who seized the thinking and believed in the ideology of terrorism,” he said.

“This is not a matter of politics or law, this is a matter of brotherhood… We are talking about faith, our faith, brotherhood, sisterhood. It is difficult for the national government to find money, shall we reach the point where our brother will wait like a wretch , do we have money?” he added.

Padilla said, in his conversation with the Marawi Compensation Board, its P1-billion budget might be insufficient because it is used up in three or four months.

Because of this, he insisted on finding other sources of funds, including the P6 billion in unprogrammed funds, for compensation efforts.

It is also important to ensure that those affected by the Marawi Siege are provided with livelihood. According to Padilla, the “non-monetary programs” that the MCB is thinking of should be explored, especially in coordination with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

According to Sen. Risa Hontiveros who sponsored the MCB budget, MCB plans to give the compensation recipient financial literacy skills training.

Hontiveros added that they also explored additional sources of funding for the MCB to do its work. He said, MCB ensures compensation for non-Muslim victims. He said, almost 90 percent of the death claims are for non-Muslim laborers.

According to Hontiveros, the first batch of aid recipients are those with death claims, and there is a commemorative program to give the first batch of awards – which coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of Marawi.