Hundreds of OFWs await gov't nod to disembark 8 ships in Manila Bay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2020 07:56 AM

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Hundreds of Filipino seafarers are waiting for government permission to disembark from 8 ships in Manila Bay and undergo quarantine to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday. 

The Filipinos are crew members of the ships that arrived mostly last week from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, said PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo. 

The overseas Filipino workers will undergo check-up and 2-week isolation after the health department's Bureau of Quarantine allows them to disembark, he said. 

Some 428 Filipinos got off a ship from Malaysia on Sunday and were brought by the PCG to a quarantine area, he said. 

"Mahigit pa nga ng 1,000 o aabutin ng 2,000 itong mga laman nitong mga cruise ship na ito. Mga kababayan po natin ito, kailangan nating serbisyuhan at siguraduhing makakababa sila, makakapag-quarantine sila," Balilo told DZMM. 

(There are over 1,000 or nearly 2,000 Filipinos on board these ships. These are our compatriots and we need to serve them, make sure they get off and undergo quarantine.) 

"Handa ho iyong mga doktor natin dito sa pier, iyong Coast Guard medical personnel para siguruhing hindi naman kakalat iyong COVID at walang may sakit doon sa mga bababa," he added. 

(Our doctors at the pier, the Coast Guard medical personnel are ready to ensure that COVID will not spread and none of those who will disembark are sick.) 

Several other ships are coordinating with the PCG to anchor in Manila Bay, he said.

Balilo also asked OFWs to follow quarantine rules following reports that some of them tried to leave hotels where they are billeted. 

"'Pag nahuli po silang umalis o lumabas, back to zero po sila sa quarantine period nila," he said. 

(If they are caught leaving or going out, their quarantine period will go back to zero.)