By Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY: Another batch of 496 Filipinos stranded in Sabah have returned home recently through the efforts of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Minister Raissa Jajurie of the region’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) said Wednesday that 352 or 70 percent of the returnees are from the BARMM provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Basilan.
Four registered social workers were earlier deployed onboard the ship to Sabah to conduct intake interviews and debriefing sessions.
It was the ninth batch of returnees who have been facilitated on May 22, 2021 by the MSSD since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
“Since 4 July 2020, a total of 2,559 individuals have returned to the BARMM from Sabah,” she said in a statement.
Some of the returnees were detained for various offenses while others were migrant workers who sneaked into Sabah to look for greener pasture.
Jajurie said MSSD and the BARMM government are committed to providing “comprehensive, consistent, and substantial interventions” to support the return of Bangsamoro constituents to the homeland.
Philippine News Agency