Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 2, 2007

UN body searching for 2 OFWs for claims payment
10/02/2007 05:24 PM

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The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) governing council has sought the help of the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia in locating two Filipinos with pending compensation claims for losses resulting from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The UNCC is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council established in 1991 to process claims and pay compensation losses resulting from Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait.In response, the Philippine Claims and Compensation Secretariat at the Philippine embassy and consulate in Saudi Arabia issued a call on the whereabouts of Avelino B. Lumapas Jr and Romeo A. Tolentino, both 51 years old.

They were said to be working in Saudi Arabia and their claims have been ready since February.The UNCC gave Lumapas and Tolentino until Sunday, October 7 to get their compensation claims.The compensation is payable to successful claimants from a special fund that receives a percentage of the proceeds from sales of Iraqi oil.

The UN Security Council established Iraq's legal responsibility for such losses in its Resolution 687 on April 3, 1991.The UNCC has accepted for filing claims of individuals, corporations and governments, submitted by governments, as well as those submitted by international organizations for individuals who were not in a position to have their claims filed by a government. Since 1991, UNCC has received more than 2.6 million claims seeking a total of approximately US$368 billion in compensation. Nearly 100 governments have submitted claims for their nationals, corporations and/or themselves.

Thirteen offices of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), have also submitted claims for individuals who were not in a position to have their claims filed by governments.

There were six categories of claims. Category "A" claims are those submitted by individuals who had to depart from Kuwait or Iraq between the date of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2,1990 and the date of the ceasefire, March 2,1991. Compensation for successful claims under Category “A" was set by the Governing Council at the fixed sum of US$2,500 for individual claimants and US$5,000 for families. Claimants under this category were entitled to $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for families.

The UNCC received 920,000 Category “A" claims submitted by 77 governments and 13 offices of three international organizations, seeking a total of US$3.6 billion in compensation.From the Philippines, 39, 584 claims were filed under this category.

The category "A" panel of commissioners completed its work in 1996. The Governing Council has approved the payment of more than US$3.2 billion in compensation for over 860,000 successful category "A" claimants.

Under Category "B," claims are submitted by individuals who suffered serious personal injury or whose spouse, child or parent died as a result of Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Compensation for successful claims in this category was set at US$2,500 for individuals and up to US$10,000 for families.

The Commission received approximately 6,000 category "B" claims submitted by 47 governments and seven offices of three international organizations, seeking a total of approximately US$21 million in compensation.

The Philippines submitted 68 claims under Category “B."Category "C" covers individual claims for damages up to US$100,000 each. It can be made for 21 different types of losses, including those relating to departure from Kuwait or Iraq; personal injury; mental pain and anguish; loss of personal property; loss of bank accounts, stocks and other securities; loss of income; loss of real property; and individual business losses.

The Commission received approximately 420,000 category "C" claims submitted by 85 governments and eight offices of three international organizations, seeking a total of approximately US$9 billion in compensation. From the Philippines, UNCC recorded 6, 528 claims under this category. - GMANews.TV, with reports from Ronaldo Concha

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