MANILA – A total of 944 families or 4,721 persons have been displaced by the continuing armed conflict in Sabah, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Thursday.
The NDRRMC said of the total number of displaced residents, 1,860 are children.
The residents living in Sabah were forced to evacuate to Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has formed a team in Tawi-Tawi to address the needs of the evacuees.
Authorities said food and non-food items amounting to more than P10 million have been provided.
Evacuation centers in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi have also been identified in anticipation of more arrivals from Sabah.
The evacuation centers, which can accommodate around 60 families, are identified as follows:
• Maharlika Institute of Technology
• Tubig Tanah Elementary School
• Tawi-Tawi Scool of Arts and Trade
• Housing Project Elementary School
• Panglima annao Elementary School
• Pahut Elementary School
Other government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment and the Bureau of Immigration are planning to put up a One Stop-Shop Processing Center in Taganak, Tawi-Tawi to accommodate the needs of the evacuees.
The Philippine Red Cross, meanwhile, administered first aid services to the evacuees.
At least 200 men, led by Sulu crown prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, entered Sabah's Lahad Datu in February to assert the Kirams' ownership claim to Sabah.
At least 70 people, mostly alleged followers of Kiram, have been killed after Malaysian security forces launched attacks early March.