OCD spent just P10,000 of P36.9-million aid for Marawi siege victims: COA

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2019 05:03 PM

This aerial photo shows the destroyed Grand Mosque in Marawi, May 23, 2019, two years after terrorists laid siege on the city. Noel Celis, AFP

MANILA - The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) spent only P10,000 out of a P36.9-million donation it received for victims of the Marawi siege, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in its 2018 report.

COA said the amount was used to assist the family of one who perished in the 2017 firefights between terrorists and state troops in the southern city.

"Clearly, the donations were not utilized to provide for the much needed support of the Marawi siege victims," it said.

"The poor utilization of the donated funds defeated the purpose of the donation and that the good intention of the donors for human consideration was not fully served."

COA said the donation should not be restricted to financial assistance as provided under the National Disaster Coordinating Council Memorandum Order No. 13, which states that the OCD may grant a P10,000 aid for a fatality and P5,000 for an injured person.

State auditors noted that victims were required to present several documents to avail of the financial aid, which may hinder their application.

Those who were injured in the siege were required to present a medical certificate, a local disaster coordinating council (LDCC) police report, and an endorsement for the payment of claims from the LDCC chairman.

Meanwhile, the relative of a deceased victim was required to present a death certificate, barangay certificate, proof of filial relationship, an LDCC police report, and an endorsement for the payment of claims from the LDCC chairman.

Claims could be made only within 1 year from the time the disaster occurred. The siege happened between May and October 2017. 

"The production alone of the above documents could be very burdensome for some victims, which could be one of the causes of low utilization of donated funds," COA said.

Islamic State-inspired militants took siege of Marawi in May 2017, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao. The military rule is set to expire in December this year.

The siege left at least 1,000 people killed, including terrorists, soldiers, and civilians.

Government said it would cover expenses for damaged public infrastructure in Marawi City despite Duterte's statement that he might leave it up to businessmen.