A lawmaker from Mindanao on Monday urged his colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate to speed up the passage and implementation of the Marawi Compensation Bill.
At the same time, Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the bill as urgent. He urged both houses of Congress to pass the measure soon so it may be signed into law and funded by the General Appropriations Act for 2022.
Hataman lamented that the Marawi rebuilding and rehabilitation had yet to fully commence almost four years after government forces liberated the city from extremists.
“2021 will be the last SONA of President Duterte,” Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct ARMM, said.
“We hope that Congress will be able to pass it immediately, and that passing the measure will be President Duterte’s legacy in rebuilding Marawi.”
He as the deliberations get near for the 2022 national budget, passing the measure to compensate the people of Marawi becomes imperative if Congress is to include the funds for the victims of the 2017 siege. The measure has already passed the committee level in the House of Representatives, and a counterpart bill is still pending in the Senate.
Hataman warned that further delay in the rehabilitation and compensation in Marawi could fuel extremist sentiments.
He also called attention to the government funds that may expire due to lack of implementation, like what happened to the P406 million 2018 Marawi fund budget that reverted back to the National Treasury in 2019.