Precautionary Measures Amidst Corona Virus Disease (COVID19) Outbreak

from WMSI Management (This is a developing story)

18 Mar 2020 (04:11 PM)

To: WMSI Valued Business Partners:

Situational Update on Covid19 Related Changes in the Philippines

Transportation and Flights

Early this morning, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) amended the policy on airport shut down by allowing Overseas Filipino Workers and Foreigners during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is tasked to ferry the passengers to and from the airport within Metro Manila, although we doubt if this arrangement is reliable considering most government agencies are on quarantine as well- and that there has been no related issuance from OWWA as of this writing. Police and military in scattered checkpoints will need to be shown requirements like pre-processed and approved POEA contracts and flight itinerary for a seafarer to go through.

Mass transport like trains, light rails, buses, taxi cabs, jeepneys, and ride-sharing services are not allowed to operate. Domestic Flights are still suspended making seafarers from provinces impossible to transport to Manila for deployment.

It is suggested that we have to be conservative with pushing through because test kits in the Philippines cannot be freely availed due to scarcity. The idea of testing a seafarer (apart from questionnaire on symptoms) before deployment is not possible at this stage. We are also very concerned about the risk of onboard seafarers contracting the disease from joiners.

US Visa

US consular office has postponed both appointments and drop-in applications for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.