A total of 33 Badjao families with 75 members will soon sail home to Jolo, Sulu.
Upon instructions of Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) in the city rounded up these Badjao families from different parts of the city over the past several weeks and housed them at a facility in Barangay Vista Alegre while their return home to Jolo is being processed by a multi-agency task force composed of the Office of Civil Defense 6 (OCD), Department of Interior and Local Government and Bacolod DSSD.
The city is providing the Badjaos for their daily needs for food, drinking water, cooking utensils, toiletries, mats and blankets, and other necessities.
Pacita Tero of the Bacolod DSSD said that these families agreed to be sent home after they understood that they could become Covid-19 victims or become carriers of the virus when they roam around the city.
The lead agency for this effort, the OCD-6 under Regional Director Jose Roberto Nuñez, is now awaiting the acceptance of authorities of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for these Badjaos tagged as locally stranded individuals (LSIs).
Once accepted by the BARMM, these Badjaos will be transported by land to Dumaguete City, and then on to Dapitan by sea. OCD-BARMM in Dapitan will ensure their continued travel home to Jolo.
Leonardia has already sent letters to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson of Negros Occidental, Governor Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo for the passes that may be needed when these LSIs will be transported to Dumaguete City to catch their boat trip to Dapitan./WDJ