By Betheena Kae Unite
Vessels traveling outside Luzon must reduced their capacities by half in order to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Maritime Industry Authority said.
All shipping companies, owners, and operators were told to impose certain guidelines during the enhanced community quarantine and stringent social distancing measures over the entirety of Luzon until April.
Passenger shipping operations in all ports in Luzon have also been suspended during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine. Cargo transport via sea shall, however, continue to facilitate the movement of basic goods and commodities.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), on the other hand, has suspended the issuance of cargo entry withdrawal permits (CEWP). As a result, trucks carrying cargoes to and from ports in Luzon “shall no longer be required to secure CEWP from PPA or port terminal operators.”
Ports shall continue to be open to cargo ships provided that crew members will strictly observe a ‘no embarkation and disembarkation’ policy. All passenger ships, on the other hand, will not be allowed to enter the ports.
Trucks carrying cargo coming from one port to another in Luzon, which will not require sea travel, “shall be allowed continuous access to and from said ports.”
Trucks carrying cargo that will require sea travel, on the other hand, will have to unload the cargo at the next port of call and transfer the cargo to another truck.
“In all cases, truck drivers and helpers shall be subjected to strict health screening at the ports before they will be allowed to enter or leave the port and proceed to their subsequent or final destination,” the PPA said in the guidelines signed by PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago Tuesday.
READ MORE: Entire Luzon under quarantine