CEBU CITY – Twenty Filipino seafarers of MV Equinox Orenda were among the first batch of seafarers to avail of the services of Cebu’s crew change hub on Monday, October 19, after its official activation on October 16.
The Cebu crew change hub is also set to facilitate the arrival of 15 seafarers and embarkation of 21 seafarers on Tuesday, October 20, for MV Federal Iris and MV Mackenzie, Cebu Port Authority General Manager Leonilo Miole said.
Miole welcomed the seafarers and said: “In strict compliance with our port protocols and procedures for crew change, on-signing seafarers were required to undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing 72 hours before boarding,” Miole said.
After getting a negative result, the seafarers were subjected to physical examination by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), as well as Customs and Immigration procedures. Upon obtaining the clearance, they were sent to the vessel for the handover of duties from off signees, he added.
Miole said off-signing seafarers were subjected to Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) procedures onboard their vessel before they were sent to the port for disembarkation, followed by the debriefing and RT-PCR testing in the port’s one-stop shop (OSS) crew change facility.
All on-signers and off-signers were wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and complied with the safety protocols to avoid any possible transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during crew change operations, Miole bared.
After completing the OSS procedures, seafarers immediately boarded their assigned vehicles bound for their designated quarantine facility as approved by the BOQ, while waiting for their swab test results.