Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Business as usual at Cebu ports amid tighter security checks

A port personnel checks the temperature of a passenger.

Cebu port services, both for passengers and cargoes, will not be disrupted while stricter measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are being implemented, assured the Cebu Port Authority (CPA).

While it’s business as usual, CPA noted that to minimize risk of exposure to other port users, Cebu ports will continue to adopt all possible control measures such as body temperature check through a non-contact thermometer, provision of soaps and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and putting up of temporary isolation rooms and holding areas in ports in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) 7 to provide fast assistance and response to identified febrile persons in ports.

CPA said these measures are consistent with the province-wide effort to prevent the possible entry of COVID-19 into Cebu province and with Section 2 of Presidential Proclamation No. 922 series of 2020.

“Though we are on business-as-usual in our port operations, CPA is also doing its share by ensuring that the risk of exposure of our port users is reduced or minimized,” CPA general manager Leonilo Miole said in a statement.

Based on CPA’s issued port protocol, all passengers including crew and any other person departing from the port will be subjected to mandatory non-contact thermal scan for proactive detection of febrile condition and flu-like and other common symptoms of COVID-19.

READ: Cebu ports tighten entry defenses amid new PH COVID-19 cases

All persons at the Cebu baseport detected to be in a febrile condition or symptomatic will be immediately referred to DOH 7 and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), and those at subports will be referred to the city or municipal doctor or health facilities for proper assessment.

CPA said all Cebu outbound passengers are requested to comply with the enforced port protocol. Persons suspected of having an infectious disease who will resist or seriously disobey the enforced protocol may be arrested and charged with violation of Presidential Decree 856, otherwise known as the “Code on Sanitation of the Philippines.”

“Our assigned port police are on standby 24/7 to ensure the smooth flow of our port operations,” Miole said.

Passengers are encouraged to be at their assigned terminals at least two hours before their scheduled trip to avoid queues and to give time for security and temperature checks and other procedures. All passenger vessels are likewise directed to observe early boarding to avoid delays.

“On international cargo vessels, CPA remains open in accepting the entry of international ships to our port. Our conditions are the non-disembarkation of vessel crew and the suspension of all visitation privileges extended to seafarers of foreign ships while docked in any CPA-controlled port,” Miole said.

Moreover, all ships lying alongside a pier, wharf or bulkhead are required to deploy and attach rat guards to prevent the passage of rats between the ship and port.

No foreign ships will be allowed to dock and crew; passengers are not allowed to disembark unless permitted by BOQ and the Bureau of Immigration through verified issuance of free pratique or health clearance, shore pass or disembarkation permits and other pertinent permits.

CPA Port Safety, Security and Environment Management Department manager Glenn Sarador earlier said that from February 1 to 16, Cebu port reported a drop in two vessel calls and a decline of 2,361 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) year-on-year.

Sarador said an average 63 ships used to call Cebu port monthly, 20 from China.

On port terminal operations, CPA is strictly implementing preventive measures to protect employees against COVID-19.

All frontline port personnel are directed to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as surgical or N95 masks, maintain clean hands and use hand sanitizers at all times, avoid close contact, and properly dispose of PPE after use to avoid possible contamination and protect themselves from infection and deter any possible spread of the coronavirus.

Photo courtesy of CPA

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