Domestic cargo sea transportation will continue under the Metro Manila community quarantine to facilitate movement of basic commodities and goods in and out of the metro, according to guidelines released by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).
But suspended is passenger sea travel beginning March 15 until the lifting of the community quarantine on April 14, according to MARINA Advisory No. 2020-14 dated March 13.
The guidelines are in view of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) Resolution No. 11, which declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at Code Red Sub-Level 2 and recommended placing Metro Manila under community quarantine and suspending land and domestic air and sea travel from March 15 to April 14.
Sea passengers may opt to choose the Batangas route and travel via land to reach their provincial destinations, MARINA said. Moreover, social distancing measures will be observed on board passenger ships by reducing the authorized passenger capacity by 50%. Sitting at least one seat apart must be observed by passengers.
MARINA said it will decentralize its operations to the MARINA Regional Offices (MRO) using online systems.
Alternative work arrangements, particularly work-from-home scheme and the formation of skeletal workforces, will be adopted to maintain unimpeded delivery of service.
The MARINA Central Office (MCO) will focus on policymaking and development while MROs and MARINA Processing Centers will cater to regulatory transactions.
All applications with MARINA’s Shipyard Regulation Service (SRS), Domestic Shipping Service, and Maritime Safety Service (MSS) will be filed with the nearest available MRO or processed through electronic mail.
All applications filed with the MSS and SRS requiring inspection or audit will be delegated to the MRO nearest to where the vessel is located.
All applications filed with the Overseas Shipping Service will be processed through electronic mail.
All applications for issuance and amendment of Certificate of Public Convenience or issuance of Special Permit or Provisional Authority, petition for approval and confirmation of sale and transfer of ships will be filed by the applications/petitioners with the MRO where the ship is homeported.
For ships homeported at MCO, applications may be filed with the nearest MRO where the shipping company/operator has a branch office.
For seafarers, the conduct of all maritime training courses prescribed by the MARINA as well as theoretical and practical assessments in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be suspended until April 12, subject to change upon the lifting of community quarantine.
Conduct of training courses and practical assessment outside NCR shall be at the discretion of the accredited maritime training Institutions and assessment centers (ACs), taking into account precautionary measures.
The validity of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates for Filipino seafarers currently on board flagged ships that are affected by the pandemic is extended for two months from the date of expiry of the certificate, subject to prescribed requirements.
The Seafarer’s Record Book will be provisionally extended for six months as warranted.
MARINA NCR Processing Centers located in Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and SM Manila will operate, observing social distancing and hygienic measures.
Considering the community quarantine procedures in NCR, seafarers living outside the region can proceed to the nearest available MRO to process their applications.
Only STCW-related applications processed through liaison officers will be catered to at the MCO. – Roumina Pablo