Cotabato City (July 29, 2020) – Bangsamoro Government has successfully sent home today fifty (50) Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) bound for Basilan province.
The individuals are among the first batch of the 405 LSIs who will be sent off to the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa).
Said 50 LSIs tested negative in Covid-19 swab testing and completed the 14-days quarantine in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. They were sent home with the assistance of the Philippine Navy.
The remaining 355 BaSulTa bound LSIs who completed their 14 day quarantine period, and after following health protocols, will be sent off at the soonest possible time.
The 405 LSIs from Manila were originally bound for the island provinces but were rerouted to Cagayan de Oro City on July 7.
The Bangsamoro Government hired 17 buses to take them to Zamboanga City, which should have been the nearest port of entry to the island provinces. However due to circumstances beyond the control of the Bangsamoro Government, the buses had to be rerouted to Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Upon their arrival in Maguindanao, the Bangsamoro Government ensured their safety and welfare. They immediately underwent reverse transcription-polyemerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
The BARMM’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) has been providing them with daily hot meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and drinking water.
At least four (4) MSSD workers have also been staying 24/7 at the isolation facilities in Maguindanao to provide psychosocial support for the LSIs and modified camp management.
Interior and Local Government Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, who represented Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, stressed during Wednesday’s sending off ceremony that the Bangsamoro Government will continuously help the LSIs and ensure their safe return to their respective provinces.
“It’s important that we keep the spirit of looking after the welfare of each one,” Sinarimbo said, adding that it is the duty of the regional government to help its constituents especially in times of crisis.
Meanwhile, MSSD Minister Atty. Raissa Jajurie said “Hindi lang po iisang ahensya ang tumulong para maisakatuparan ito, hindi lang po BARMM ngunit pati ang ating kasundaluhan at hukbong dagat.”
The MSSD and BARMM-READI (Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence) provided cash assistance worth of P5,000.00 to each individual, hygiene kits, and relief goods including 25 kilos of rice.
Wednesday’s sending off ceremony was also attended by MOH-RESU head Dr. Amirel Usman, Parang, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Adnan Biruar, Representative of PNP PRO-BAR PCOL Jaime Mojica Jr. , Sultan Kudarat LGUs, and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.(Bureau of Public Information)
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