Board of Claims: Avail compensation program

THE Board of Claims (BOC) of the Department of Justice has embarked on a nationwide information-dissemination seminar to address the problem on low rate of victims who applied for compensation program offered by the agency.

Twenty-four years after the Board of Claims (BOC) law had been enacted, there were only 49,000 applicants who had been able to avail of the service which was purposely created to extend financial assistance worth P10,000 to victims of unjust imprisonment or detention and violent crimes.

The program was created under Republic Act 7309 and had been declared effective in 1992.

In a statistics revealed by the BOC in the seminar held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on Thursday, there are only a total of 74 applications in Davao Region with 38 of these already approved by the board, 17 are still pending, 10 are undergoing the completion of documents or requirements, six are still for compliance of the requirements and three had been denied.

The data also showed that among the regions in the country, the National Capital Region had the highest rate of applicants in 2015 which is composed of 902 while the regions with the lowest rate of applicants are the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Caraga composed of only five and two applicants, respectively.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Joselita Mendoza said during the seminar that when she became a Regional Prosecutor in Davao, she noticed the alarming low rate of those who applied for the compensation program and thus it led the DOJ to conduct the information-dissemination program starting last year.

“The low rate of applicants can be credited to the people’s lack of information that there is an existing program that provides compensation to the victims,” Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Severino Gaña Jr. said in Filipino during an interview with Sun.Star Davao.

The victim or the dead victim’s surviving spouse, children, natural parents, and brother or sister can apply to avail of the program by getting the application form at the Regional Prosecution Office.

However, the BOC clarified that the application must be done within six months after the victim had been released from imprisonment or after the commission of the violent crime otherwise it will not be accepted.

Given this scenario, Gaña and Mendoza explained that they had been pushing to amend the law and proposed to extend the six month period into one year and also to increase the compensation to P50,000 from P10,000.

“For instances where the applicants cannot immediately comply with all the requirements within six months, we suggest that the victims submit it not necessarily complete as long as the application had been subscribed before a prosecutor,” Gaña said adding that the applicants can later complete the requirements. (RCP)
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