The Municipality of Caluya, Antique has recently implemented a “no disembarkation” policy for the crew of a Chinese vessel at the Semirara International Port as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
As these vessels were said to dock at the port every week to transport coal from the Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC), Caluya Legal Officer Arthur Lastimoso expressed in a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report that the policy simply aims to minimize human contact to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Thus, in light of the policy, a conveyor is utilized to load the coal to the vessels.
According to the PNA report, the last time a Chinese vessel docked at the port was on January 27, 2020.
At present, officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Bureau of Quarantine are said to be present every time there is an international vessel arriving at the Semirara Port.
In related news, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago expressed in a Rappler report that the agency did not only bar passengers coming from Chinese territories from disembarking in Philippine ports but also the crews of vessels which recently called in any China Port.
Additionally, the agency also canceled not only the visitation privileges of Filipino seafarers’ relatives but also the boarding privileges of non-governmental organizations that provide emotional and spiritual support to them.
Mariners and vessels, including all port stakeholders, were already issued an advisory.