By Noreen Jazul
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said all its ports will “remain open” to shipments coming from China and its special administrative regions (SARs) amid the global threat of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
“The cargo vessels with shipments will not be subjected to a ban,” the PPA said in a press release Friday.
The PPA said banning cargo vessels from China and its SARs will “paralyze the country’s supply chain.”
Some “83 percent of all cargoes that go to the Philippines emanate from either China, Hongkong, and Taiwan,” PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said in a press briefing Thursday.
The PPA, however, said the crews of ships coming from China and its SARs will not be allowed to disembark.
“The PPA is fully aware that replacement of crew will be done by the vessel operators in the voyage. That’s why the crew which will be replaced shall undergo strict quarantine period and will just be allowed to come upon the consent of the Department of Health (DOH),” they said.
Santiago said there would be “very minimal human intervention” when cargoes are unloaded at the port. “Dito naman sa (Here at the) port of Manila, South Harbor, and MIC, this is already fully mechanized. We have crates unloading the cargoes.”
The PPA also clarified that the crews of ships whose itineraries “will only require them to pass the country” will not be allowed to disembark.