Philippines to allow foreign cruise ships carrying Filipinos to dock in Manila

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 10:38 AM | Updated as of Apr 16 2020 08:46 PM

A container terminal viewed from Manila Bay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA (UPDATE) -- Foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino seafarers will be allowed to dock at ports in Manila, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday as the Philippines continues to repatriate its people displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government will also allow the use of ships as quarantine facilities subject to the guidelines on the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers, Nograles said.

"Ang mga foreign cruise ship na may dalang mga Pilipinong crew members ay papayagang dumaong sa mga pantalan sa Maynila at magamit bilang quarantine facility nila..." the Cabinet official said in a virtual press briefing.

(Foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino crew members will be allowed to dock in the ports of Manila and be used as quarantine facilities.)

Foreign crew members of such ships meanwhile will be allowed to disembark in Manila too and leave the Philippines once they complete the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation.

"Ang mga foreign crew members na kasama nila ay papayagang umuwi sa kanilang mga bansa basta nakatapos din sila ng mandatory 14-day quarantine dito," Nograles said.

(The foreign crew members of such ships will also be allowed to return to their respective countries as long as they finish the mandatory 14-day quarantine here.)

The Philippine Coast Guard also reported on Thursday that 2 ships already started operating as COVID-19 quarantine facilities.

The ships are currently catering to 90 repatriated Filipino seafarers from South Korea, Indonesia, and Qatar, who are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

More than 13,000 migrant Filipino workers who have been displaced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have already been repatriated to the country.

Globally, the number of Filipinos abroad who fell ill with COVID-19 rose to 736 on Wednesday, the Philippine foreign ministry said.

The death toll remains at 88, while the number of those who recovered is up by 6 to 222.