MARINA sets new rules for shipping companies
CEBU, Philippines — Shipping companies and operators are required to employ one health or medical worker onboard and one onshore to supervise the checking and monitoring of body temperature of passengers, employees and crew, amid the ongoing health crisis.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) had issued the advisory that Administrator Retired Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad had signed last April 30.
Shipping companies were also directed to device an online scheme for passenger ticket procurement, maintain cleanliness of ships, buildings and onshore premises; provide isolation areas for suspected coronavirus infected persons and to ensure that no mass gathering is allowed onboard and onshore.
Operation of passenger ships remains prohibited in areas which are still under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ); while it allows in areas under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), subject to strict conditions as provided in the guidelines.
Passenger ships operating in areas under GCQ shall not be allowed to travel to any port under ECQ, while social distancing shall be observed at all times whether onshore or onboard.
Shipping companies are required to install visible social distancing marks inside inside the vessel and the terminals.
Handwashing or lavatory areas with sufficient water, soap, alcohol or disinfectant shall be provided at the main entrances of the premises and at strategic parts of the building and ships for free that the passengers, employees and crew can use.
Disinfecting footbath shall likewise be provided in all entry and exit access points of the vessel and building.
Persons to be accommodated in the terminal shall only be enough for everyone to practice social distancing and wearing of mask is mandatory for all passengers and employees at all times and in all areas and during the voyage.
Persons inside cars entering the premises shall also be subjected to mandatory body temperature checking and passing through disinfecting footbath.
There must also be a reduced passenger capacity to 50 percent to ensure one-meter social distancing and mandatory checking of body temperature before passengers and crew are allowed to board.
Passengers showing illness and flulike symptoms will not be allowed to board the ship.
Meanwhile, an island in Bohol Province near Olango Island in Cebu has secured two pumpboats to be used as a sea ambulance.
Bohol Second District Representative Erico Aristotle Aumentado had donated a pumpboat each to the two barangays in Cabul-an Island in Buenavista town.
Aumentado said the sea ambulances will be used to ferry patients from the district’s islands to Ubay town for consultation with doctors and free medicines at the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEVMH), will be for the islanders’ emergency use.
Being an area that is near Olango Island in Cebu, the residents need the pumpboats for commerce and trade – be it with Bohol or Cebu.
The boats can be used to bring in goods and commodities that the islanders need, as well as to bring their products like fish and seafoods for sale to either province.
These can also bring their dried seaweeds for sale to processing plants in Cebu.
The islanders expressed gratitude and elation over the sea ambulances that have capacities of 10 persons each. GAN (FREEMAN)