Photo from MSSD
COTABATO CITY—Bangsamoro Government thru the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) provided Php10,000.00 in cash assistance to each of the 49 Bangsamoro repatriated Islamic students, scholars, and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by military conflict in Sudan.
The repatriates arrived at international airports in Zamboanga City, Davao City, and General Santos City on May 9.
Bai Fatty Accoy, focal of the Bangsamoro Critical Assistance for Indigents in Response to Emergency Situations (B-CARES) program, said that an additional 106 repatriates are expected to arrive in BARMM in the coming days.
“Okay ‘yong mga OFWs kasi may matatanggap silang cash assistanace sa OWWA. Doon lang tayo medyo nahirapan sa mga students kasi ‘di sila kasama doon sa assistance ng OWWA,” Accoy said.
The MSSD’s social workers also conducted assessments and profiling of the repatriates to determine additional interventions they may require.
In addition to the MSSD’s assistance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – National Capital Region provided Php5,000.00 and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) provided Php10,000.00 to repatriates upon their arrival in Manila for their daily needs.
Among the repatriates were Jimmy Bara Jumdani, a 28-year-old Islamic student scholar from Bongao in Tawi-Tawi province, and Haniph Fransisco, a resident of Mati in Davao de Oro.
Jumdani studied Islamic Studies at the International University of Africa in Khartoum, Sudan. He shared that studying abroad is difficult, especially since he is not a full scholar and that the situation in Sudan made it even more challenging.
He expressed his surprise at the speed of the conflict and how quickly they had to leave. He recounted that the school warned them about the conflict, but they did not expect it to escalate quickly.
“Nabigla po kami. At nagsabi rin ang school na may nangyayaring gulo pero dipo naming akalain na ganun pala kabilis yung sitwasyon hanggang sa doon kami nakapag-stay sa university kung saan malapit yung gyera sa amin,” he stated.
Jumdani appreciated the assistance provided by the BARMM, which allowed him to return home to Zamboanga City with ease.
He expressed his gratitude, saying, “nagpapasalamat kami sa BARMM kasi malaking tulong iyong ibinigay nila sa amin.” (Myrna Tepadan/BIO)