400 more returning Filipinos from Sabah arrive in Zambo port
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sep 28 (PIA) – The 5th batch of returning Filipinos from Sabah (REFs) composed of 400 persons including some 36 minors arrived yesterday in Zamboanga City Port via the MV Antonia 1 of Aleson Shipping Lines.
According to Ivan Salvador, information officer of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 9, the REFs are all COVID-19-free as they underwent the RT-PCR or swab test before being allowed to board the vessel as part of the protocols.
Upon arrival, the REFs underwent a thorough profiling with the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to verify their identities.
Salvador added that some REFs require medical and welfare assistance considering that a considerable number are minors and senior citizens. The government will provide the necessary assistances when they safely arrive to their home provinces.
As per DSWD data, out of the 400, 48 are from Zamboanga City; 18 from Basilan; 51 from Sulu; 260 from Tawi-Tawi; and 23 from other provinces that include Agusan del Norte, Cavite, General Santos, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Palawan, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur and in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay province.
Salvador said more batches of REFs will arrive here in two-week intervals with 400 persons per batch. Earlier, DSWD Assistant Secretary Joyce Niwane said an inter-agency collaboration of government agencies and stakeholders are mapping out long-term solutions to provide sustainable livelihood and other appropriate interventions for the REFs.
The inter-agency operations for the REFs are handled by agencies including Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Tourism (DOT), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Zamboanga City Integrated Port Services, Inc. (ZCIPSI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine National Police (PNP), Port Police, Joint Task Force Zamboanga (JTFZ), Western Mindanao Command (WMC), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Ministry of Social Services and Development (DSWD) -BARMM, Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG)-BARMM, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) – BARMM, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Bureau of Immigration (BOI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Zamboanga City Health Office (CHO), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA). (RVC/DIS/PIA9-ZAMSULTA)