MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte approved a Congress resolution extending the validity of funds to compensate Marcos-era martial law victims until December 31, 2019.
This was confirmed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Thursday, February 28, in a lunch with reporters.
The signed resolution was also sent to reporters on Thursday.
The joint resolution (Senate Joint Resolution No. 13 and House Joint Resolution No. 26) extends the maintenance, availability, and release of the funds for victims of human rights violations until December 31, 2019.
The extension of funds validity is needed because the account of the
Human Rights Victims' Claims Board (HRVCB) with the Land Bank of the Philippines can only be maintained until August 11, 2018 after which funds will be reverted to the Bureau of the Treasury.
The law which created the HRCVB set a sunset provision in which the body was given two years to distribute the funds, amounting to P10 billion plus interest.
Another law had to be enacted to extend this deadline, from May 12, 2014 to May 12, 2018.
In late June 2018, the HRCVB account still had P792.628 million. There were also 451 "problematic checks" - a mix of unreleased checks (291 checks worth P239.2 million) and checks to payees who had already passed away (160 checks worth P110.9 million).
In the face of these complications, the resolution authorizes the Bureau of Treasury and Land Bank to release the funds and for the Commission on Human Rights to distribute the funds. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.