Measures and Updates Amidst Covid19 Pandemic
from WMSI Management
28 Apr 2020
To all our Valued Business Partners:
May you and your families, and colleagues are in good health amidst the pandemic.
Here are the Covid19-related updates relevant to our operations:
Operations within Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)
The ECQ in Metro Manila and nearby provinces is extended up to May 15 by the National Government. Along with Metro Manila are some select provinces where Covid19 cases have not shown a downward trend. On May 16, as the President implied last night on national television, we may be seeing some industries opening back to business subject to rigid evaluation of Interagency Task For for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). The export of labor to other countries where our manning industry belongs is considered an important sector that must resume gradually to ease the effect of the lockdown on the economy. We shall update you on the progress in this regard.
Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. has continued daily operations that have made seafarers due for joining ready in a short time as soon as third party and outsourced services (PEME Clinics, Training Centers, certificate issuing authorities, etc) resume. Our WMSI Training Department has been actively operating and has conducted courses to hundreds of seafarers during the ECQ period. Our hiring process has also been consistent in assessing and producing applicants needed by our business partners. Our MHR team has been available and receptive to communications from seafarers and their family members. Our close communications during this unprecedented time enabled us to maintain orderly contract extensions and better crew planning for the quick deployments after ECQ lifting. Our Payroll team has also worked to ensure that remittances and balances of wages are credited to recipients on time. Our well-planned work from home (WFH) arrangement leads us to achieve our practicable and revised targets.
US Embassy Cancels Appointments until May 31
Another relevant information to our crewing operations is the suspension of visa applications and processes in the US Consular Office. The resumption of the visa application is by June. Operations of other flag and consular offices in Metro Manila have also been suspended until May 15.
The Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, et al arrange compassionate trips by ferries for Overseas Filipino Workers (including seafarers) who are stranded in Metro Manila. Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. so far has identified 3 seafarers who wish to go home and be with their families for the remaining days of the ECQ. We are in coordination with the aforementioned government agencies to participate in this arrangement. The rest of the seafarers are still weighing in the benefits of going home considering the risk of infection, the quarantine time requirements that may render them less ready to join the vessel, and the difficulty of reaching home since as ferries will only carry them to major ports.
Domestic flights and inter-island transportation may gradually resume operations after May 15 as expressed by major airlines servicing the country. All business and establishment resumption is subject to health and safety considerations.
Count of Confirmed Cases in the Philippines
As of 1600h yesterday, the Philippines has at least 7,777 confirmed cases of Covid19 and is still expected to increase.