The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), with the guidance from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), released new guidelines of health and safety protocols for the repatriation and conduct of crew changes in authorized domestic and international ports in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, the MARINA said the protocols cover the standards and procedures of the following situations:
· Filipino Seafarers Joining a Ship Docked in the Philippines or Overseas (Outbound)
· Filipino Seafarers Leaving a Ship (Inbound)
· Special Procedures for Filipino Seafarers Leaving a Cruise Ship Docked in Philippine Seaports
· Filipino Seafarers Transiting in the Philippines (Airport/Terminal to Airport/Terminal)
· Foreign Seafarers Joining a Ship Docked in the Philippine Seaport from the Airport (Airport to Ship)
· Foreign Seafarers Leaving a Ship Docked in Philippine Seaport to an Airport (Ship to Airport)
· Foreign Seafarers Transiting in the Philippines (Airport/Terminal to Airport/Terminal)
“The revised protocol has ensured that the procedures on crew change and the repatriation of seafarers are done in compliance with the existing safety and health protocols issued by concerned government agencies for effective crew change as well as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) protocol,” the MARINA administrator Robert Empedrad said.
The MARINA added that the protocol on crew change and the repatriation of seafarers follows the recommended procedures by the IMO contained in its Circular Letter No. 4204/Add.14 dated on May 5, 2020.
However, the agency clarified that it does not mean shipping companies will be allowed to implement crew change in any port.
“The crew change hub locations will only be allowed to undertake crew change activities upon evaluation and approval by the DOTr that the location is ready and will be capable of complying with all protocols, including undertaking RT-PCR swab testing at the port of disembarkation,” the MARINA said.
Currently, the port of Manila and port of Capinpin in Orion, Bataan are allowed as a crew change hub, also other locations such as Subic, Batangas and Davao are being considered.