3,000 more Pinoy seafarers to get vaccinated in Las Piñas

Published August 14, 2021, 1:09 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Cynthia Villar said on Saturday, August 14, that her office is again gearing up for the vaccination of about 3,000 Filipino seafarers at The Villar Tent, which she said is the government’s “favorite vaccination site” for the overseas workers.

Filipino seafarers wait for their turn to get vaccinated at the Villar Tent in Las Piñas City (Office of Senator Cynthia Villar)

The inoculation of third batch of Filipino seafarers at The Villar Tent in the Vista Global South, Las Piñas City will begin on the third week of August.

Villar said that her family, upon the request of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), has hosted the previous vaccinations of seafarers without cost to the government.

The family-owned Villlar Tent is the only privately-owned facility and vaccination site chosen by the MARINA among the three identified venues for the vaccination of seafarers.

The two other sites are the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Central Office and the Office of the Associated Marine’s Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), both located in Manila.

“The Villar Tent is a favorite vaccination place of the seafarers because it affords an orderly conduct of the vaccination procedure and it provides convenience to the participants. It is spacious enough for the observance of the necessary physical distancing, it has sufficient seating capacity, it is fully-airconditioned with appropriate air circulation, and equipped with sufficient, clean an accessible comfort room facilities,” Villar said.

“Further, protocols in the Tent are in place to ensure that the necessary areas are disinfected and that people follow the necessary health and safety protocol, like the wearing of face masks and face shields,” she added.

Over 6,000 Filipino seafarers were vaccinated in the previous vaccinations held last June 25, and from July 28 to August 3 at The Villar Tent.

“The vaccination of our Pinoy seafarers will allow them to go back to their ship safely to resume work in order to earn a living, as well as to give them the necessary protection against the COVID-19 and its many variant[s], including the most infectious and highly transmissible Delta,” Villar said.

Due to the requirement of their overseas employment, only vaccines from western countries, namely Pfizer, Moderna and Jansen vaccines, were administered to seafarers. The same vaccine brands will be inoculated to the next batch of seafarers.

MARINA sdministrator Vice Admiral Robert Empredad said they expect that around 15,000 doses to be rolled out for the seafarers in the National Capital Region.

Empredad further said that vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. promised an additional allocation of 80,000 more vaccines, which will be distributed to the other regions for the inoculation of the seafarers in other regions in the country.

Through collaboration efforts with Villar and her daughter, Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar, Empredad said they are “a step closer towards ensuring the safety and health of our modern-day heroes, as well as their families and co-workers.”

For her part, Villar said she is happy with the continuing inoculation of Filipino seafarers.

She said the marine sector has been adversely hit by the pandemic due to shut down operations of ship companies as the COVID-19 battered the global economy.

With the vaccination, Villar said they can be “on board” anew and get pay to provide for their families and help in the country spur its recovery from an economic slump.