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Cebu ports activate Holy Week travel protocols

  • The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) has activated its Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2021 and placed all ports in Cebu on heightened alert in anticipation of the surge in passenger traffic during Holy Week
  • Passenger capacity in ships and inside passenger terminals are still reduced to 50%
  • From March 29 to April 6, CPA will deploy additional safe distancing marshals and port police officers in ports with high passenger traffic

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) has activated its Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2021 and placed all ports in Cebu under heightened alert in anticipation of the surge in passenger traffic during the Holy Week.

“As the government continues to ease travel restrictions, we are working closely with our partner agencies and port stakeholders to double our efforts in ensuring the safety, security, order and convenience of the public and prevent overcrowding and heavy queuing inside our ports especially with the ongoing threat of COVID-19,” CPA general manager Leonilo Miole said in a statement.

Miole also urged the public anew to strictly observe the safety and health protocols within the port premises at all times. All outbound passengers are also encouraged to coordinate in advance with their receiving local government units (LGUs) or with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on the travel requirements to be complied with before coming to the port area.

“There have been cases that passengers booked their tickets online without prior coordination with the receiving LGU, and sad to say, they were not given clearance to board a vessel by the PCG and were denied entry into the port for failure to present the required travel documents,” Miole noted.

All passengers for destinations where the LGUs have not imposed travel requirements are encouraged to book their tickets in advance.

From March 29, 2021 to April 6, 2021, CPA will deploy additional safe distancing marshals and port police officers in ports with high passenger traffic to enforce port health and safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of face shields and face masks, temperature check and physical/social distancing.

Appropriate markers have also been placed on the floors and seats inside the terminals to guide passengers.

Disinfecting foot baths are placed at the entrance and exits of the passenger terminals and offices for added prevention and safety measures. Likewise, sanitizing hand rub dispensers and lavatories for hand washing are placed in prominent places of the passenger terminal.

Persons who refuse to comply with any directives from the CPA and other law enforcement agents inside the port premises are to be sanctioned with fines and penalties.

Fines ranging from P200 to P1,000 await individuals who are caught violating health and safety protocols. First-time offenders will be fined P200, second-timers P500, and third-time violators, P1, 000.

Passenger capacity in ships and other passenger vessels are still reduced to 50% in accordance with COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force and Department of Health (DOH) protocols.

Likewise, passenger terminals in both public and private ports will only be allowed 50% seating capacity to prevent undue queuing or crowding of passengers.

CPA will also closely coordinate with shipping companies on making the necessary adjustments to the estimated time of departure of vessels. Direct boarding of passengers to the vessel will be allowed as may be deemed necessary in order to avoid crowding, inconvenience, or delay in the vessel’s departure, provided that security, safety, and health protocols will be observed.

Persons manifesting noticeable common symptoms of infection will be placed immediately in the designated port isolation area and referred to the Cebu City Government Emergency Operation Center or nearest health and medical facilities.

Miole assured all port users that daily disinfection activities are being conducted in all passenger terminal buildings, port entry and exit points, shuttle buses, and other areas that are highly exposed to passenger traffic.

Cebu Port Pier 1 and Pier 3 gates are still closed to vehicles as they now serve as screening stations of PCG personnel checking on outbound/embarking passengers.

Further, all ports are directed to ensure that all booths, counters and centers serving passengers are properly manned during operating hours. Passenger Help Desks are also put in place to provide passenger assistance and support on a wide range of travel needs.

The public is also urged to report individuals who are selling fake COVID-19 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test results to passengers outside the port area. This is after the National Bureau of Investigation-7 conducted an entrapment operation last March 18 that led to the arrest of two individuals allegedly selling these falsified documents.

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