Dzien dobry – tu Polska – poniedziałek, 4 maja 2020

Rok XVII nr 124a (5376a) 4 maja 2020 r.
(Z prosba o przekazanie Filipinczykom:
dziekuje- Gargamel

1) to streamline the implementation of the use of the RT-PCR swab test on
all incoming Filipino seafarers. This is being implemented as part of the
effort of the government to find a safe way to facilitate the return of all
incoming seafarers to their final destinations (especially to the far flung
The principle in applying this test is as follows:
If the result of the RT-PCR test is Negative:
A seafarer can go home with a quarantine document from the BOQ for their LGU
(No quarantine needed)
If the result of the RT-PCR is Positive:
An asymptomatic seafarer is transferred to a quarantine facility for 14
days. If still asymptomatic after 14 days, seafarer can go home with a
medical clearance / quarantine document issued by the Bureau of Quarantine
(BOQ) for their Local Government Unit (LGU).
The issued BOQ medical certificate will also serve as the pass for the crew
to go home via air, on land transport or via interisland ferry.
What the government wants to do is make sure that the testing procedures
are properly and effectively carried out, and that the results are provided
as quickly as possible in order to keep the crew moving home bound.
2) to declog the Metropolis (Manila) which has essentially been filled up
with returning overseas Filipinos, who upon arrival were mandated to be
placed under a supervised 14-day quarantine under the supervision of the
Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine.
This measure, which as you know was implemented a little over 10 days ago,
created the unintended consequence of completely taking over just about all
known and acceptable public accommodations to serve as quarantine
Given that a significant number of overseas Filipinos are still to be
repatriated, then the National Government had to find a way to rethink what
is in reality a logistics and supply chain issue – effectively managing the
flow of individuals through a testing and health screening protocol – in
order to reinforce the government’s objective of containing any and all
potential transmission vectors – particularly from inbound citizens.
This is not different from what most other countries are requiring from any
inbound individuals. In the case of the Philippines, our numbers (of
returning citizens) are just many times larger than many countries, because
of our diaspora which has actually been a key driver of our economy over
the years.
The implementation of step 1 above – the use of the RT-PCR test will now
not only be given to arriving seafarers and other overseas Filipinos, but
will also be used to clear out the local accommodations that have filled up
with nationals undergoing their 14 day quarantine – making way for a whole
new set of massive arrivals.
3) to facilitate the unimpeded return of Filipino seafarers, on their last
mile journeys to their respective homes in the provinces. The effective
coordination by the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG)
of all LGUs nationwide will hasten the reuniting of seafarers with their
families that is long overdue
To carry these three measures out, the National Government wants to take
this week to focus on aligning all new protocols, to make sure that the
throughout put in each sector is as balanced as possible to ensure we can
avoid (to the extent possible) the waiting time that has characterized the
initial wave of returnees to the country.
To summarize:
testing upon arrival which will allow those with negative results of the
virus to go home within 48 hours or arrival;
testing of those currently undergoing the 14 day quarantine to cut the
period short and immediately go home if found to be negative for the virus;
the „seamless” coordination of passage from Manila to the crew member’s
last mile across various jurisdictions
In the most ideal of circumstances, the above three processes, should be
fairly straightforward logistics issues which can be managed. The
challenge we face here in the Philippines, which is not unlike what the
group is reporting back from what it hears to be similar challenges from
other parts of the world, includes working through:
the National Government and its different line agencies and making sure
that there is a clear understanding and interpretation of all rules and
regulations imposed;
the Local Government Units that also have their own rules and policies; and
the need to coordinate a cross border supply chain of air, land and sea
platforms which also have their respective government protocols to work
I apologize for the lengthy response to your query, but felt that it would
be good if I can try and frame the situation on the ground to provide a
better perspective. I would like to think that this will not hamper our
medium term plans, and instead consider this temporary halt by the
government as a „tempo gathering step” so that we can be better coordinated
and more efficient as we move forward.
Let me end, by sharing what Doris and I have been working on as the key
elements to get our government to support – and they have been listening
and responding and that is why we see these latest efforts as now „bringing
everything together”.
What the local industry has put forward to the government is built around
the following key requests:
1) declare seafarers and marine personnel as �sessential global workers”
who perform a vital global service, and whose travel back into and out of
the Philippines be facilitated by the government;
2) facilitate crew changes at designated ports in the Philippines, such as
Manila, Subic, Batangas, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao, to serve as the
country’s gateway and contribution to the global shipping community.
3) facilitate the unimpeded return of Filipino seafarers, on their last
mile journeys to their respective homes in the provinces. The effective
coordination by the DILG of all LGUs nationwide will hasten this effort.
4) facilitate the unimpeded travel of seafarers from their respective home
provinces to Manila to begin the process of re-deployment onto the
international merchant fleet – either through crew changes at specially
designated ports around the country, or by air travel to regional and
international destinations after receiving a medical clearance to travel
based on the use of a combination of rapid antibody testing and RT-PRC swab
5) create specially dedicated „Green Lanes” at our international airports
to efficiently process and handle the movement of Filipino seafarers into
and out of the country;
I hope this is all helpful. Happy to further clarify any of the items
shared above.
Wishing you a restful Sunday…and a good week ahead.
Best regards,
Gerardo A. Borromeo


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