Bacolod wants Badjaos tested for coronavirus


Bacolod City officials plan to subject all mendicant Badjaos to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RTC-PCR) test for possible coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infection.

Pacita Tero, head of the Department of Social Services and Development, proposed this following the recovery of the remains of an unidentified man along Palanca Street in the city’s Bredco port earlier this week.

Tero raised concern that around 70 Badjaos roaming this city may have already either contracted Covid-19 or may have become carriers of the virus. (

She has already forwarded the proposal to CHO Environmental Sanitation Division head Dr. Grace Tan, according to her.

Plans have also been made for the Badjaos to be returned home to Jolo, Sulu after conducting the RT-PCR tests. However, transporting them would be a problem as there are currently no trips between Bacolod City heading to Mindanao.

The only available trips that would take the Badjaos home is in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, although no one is allowed to cross as the borders between Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental are still closed.

Tero said the provincial government of Negros Oriental has agreed to serve as a holding area for Badjaos if there is no one yet from Zamboanga that would pick them up.