Victims Compensation Program
What is the law creating the Board of Claims?
Republic Act No. 7309 is the law creating the Board of Claims under the Department of Justice granting compensation for victims of unjust imprisonment or detention and victims of violent crimes.
What is the rationale for the enactment of the law?
One of the more vexing problems in the area of justice and human rights is the implementation of the constitutional provision against the deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law. Persons have been accused and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, only to be subsequently acquitted. Government and society have become notably indifferent to victims of crimes and criminals. A judicial way of filing a claim for compensation may be too long. Congress opted for an administrative procedure of filing the claims by creating the Board of Claims.
Who may apply for compensation?
- A person who was unjustly accused convicted and imprisoned and subsequently released by virtue of a judgment of acquittal;
- A person who was unjustly detained and released without being charged;
- A person who is a victim of arbitrary detention by the authorities as defined in the Revised Penal Code under a final judgment of the court; or
- A person who is a victim of a violent crime which includes rape and offenses committed with malice which resulted in death or serious physical and/or psychological injuries, permanent incapacity or disability, insanity, abortion, serious trauma, or committed with torture, cruelty or barbarity.
When should a claim be filed?
The claim should be filed with the Board by he person entitled to compensation under this Act within six (6) months after being released from imprisonment or detention or from the date he suffered damage or injury; otherwise he is deemed to have waived his claim.
How is a claim filed?
A claimant may file a claim with the board by filling up an application form provided for the purpose with the Secretariat of the Board of Claims, Department of Justice, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila. Thereafter, he will be interviewed and he will be duly notified of the action taken by the Board.
How much is given to a qualified applicant?
- For the victims of unjust imprisonment, the compensation shall be based on the number of months of imprisonment and every fraction thereof shall be considered one month, but in no case shall such compensation exceed ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) per month.
- In all other cases the maximum for which the Board may approved a claim shall not exceed TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10,000.00) or the amount necessary to reimburse the claimant the expenses incurred for hospitalization, medical treatment, loss of wage, loss of support or other expenses directly related to the injury, whichever is lower to be determined by the Board.
When is the effective date of R.A. 7309 for the purpose of processing of applications for payment of claims?
Sec. 12 of R.A. No. 7309 provides:
"This Act shall take effect after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation."
R. A. No. 7309 was published on 13 April 1992 in the Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer, hence, the effectivity day of R.A. No. 7309 is 14 April 1992.
The provisions of the Act shall be applied prospectively. All incidents or bases for filing an application under Sec. 3 of R.A. 7309 must have happened on or after 14 April 1992 and within the period provided for in No. 4, to be covered by the law.
May the decision of the Board of Claims be appealed?
Yes, Section 8 provides that: "Any aggrieved claimant may appeal, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution of the Board, to the Secretary of Justice whose decision shall be final and executory."