DAVAO CITY - A total of 96 stranded residents have returned to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi on Monday, the Bangsamoro government said.
In a statement, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said the 96 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) were among the 405 passengers, who were sent home to their respective provinces in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa).
"It can be recalled that the 405 LSIs from Manila were originally bound for the BaSulTa island provinces, but were rerouted to Cagayan de Oro City on July 7," it added.
The 96 individuals boarded the MV Lady Mary Joy-3 at the Polloc Port in Parang, Maguindanao.
"Among the 96 individuals, 45 tested negative for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), while the remaining 51 who tested positive have already recovered. All of them have completed the 14-day quarantine in the isolation facilities in BARMM," the Bangsamoro Government said.
Interior and Local Government Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo assured the LSIs of their safe return to their respective provinces.
“Part of our preparation for your return is our time to time coordination with the local government units (LGUs),” Sinarimbo said.
Sinarimbo said the Bangsamoro government has provided the basic needs of the LSIs, including cash assistance, 25 kilograms of rice, groceries, medicines, and hygiene kits from the BARMM’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI).