Military considers island in Basilan as quarantine site for 200 stranded passengers


The military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) is eyeing Sibakel Island in Basilan province to be the quarantine area for 200 passengers who came from Malaysia and stuck on vessels that were refused entry in Western Mindanao.

Westmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said a military team checked on the conditions of the island Thursday, March 19.

Sibakel Island is an isolated area with no existing infrastructure and no water source, but it can house 200 individuals.

“The military’s intervention was brought about by reports of Filipinos returning from Malaysia. Under the presidential proclamation, we have to accept them, but they have to undergo quarantine procedures,” Sobejana said.

At least 10 children are included in the stranded vessels. The passengers will have to undergo medical screenings to determine whether they are persons under monitoring or investigation.

Sobejana said the military intends to install 100 tents in the island.