To allay the concerns of Filipino seafarers on their pre-embarkation procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced the establishment of an enhanced quarantine and testing facility in Manila.
POEA explained that the said facility launched by International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) in cooperation with the Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers’ Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).
This pre-embarkation facility, POEA explained, aims to address the “concerns of Filipino crews on their pre-embarkation quarantine protocols.”
POEA explained that the pre-embarkation facility has a hotel accommodation set-up which acts as a “one-stop-shop” for swabbing and quarantine facilities for joining crew, as well as in the monitoring of their quarantine period.
“The COVID-19 swab test will be done inside the respective quarantine room of the seafarer and the result will be provided within 24 hours,” POEA said. “The COVID-19 test and quarantine certificates of the seafarer will also be rendered tamper-proof using block chain technology for the verification of the receiving country,” the Administration added.
POEA added that the transportation of the seafarers will also be “charged to their respective manning agency” as well as the overall costs of the amenities – which will be shouldered by IMTFAMOSUP.
The above-mentioned practices, POEA said, are in “pursuant to the interim guidelines” of the administration in the deployment of Filipino seafarers – particularly in ensuring their protection in their pre-embarkation process.
In line with this, the POEA urges other partners in the manning and seafaring industry to “emulate the said good practices to further ensure the protection and welfare of Filipino seafarers during their deployment.”