Manila Bulletin

Cebu Port Author­ity ac­ti­vates crew change hub for sea­far­ers

- By MINERVA BC NEW­MAN Cebu City · Port Authority of New York and New Jersey · United States Department of Transportation · Rosario · Manila · Bataan · Subic · Philippines · Philippine Coast Guard

CEBU CITY — The Cebu Port Author­ity (CPA) ac­ti­vated Cebu’s crew change hub, a one-stop shop (OSS) for crew change from do­mes­tic and for­eign ves­sels for the port of Cebu, in cer­e­monies held Thurs­day which were at­tended by the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTr) Un­der­sec­re­tary Raul del Rosario and As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Nar­ciso Ving­son Jr.

Dur­ing Thurs­day’s sim­u­la­tion, DOTr an­nounced that, ef­fec­tive Oc­to­ber 16, Cebu’s crew change hub will be­gin re­ceiv­ing re­quests for crew change from do­mes­tic and for­eign ves­sels af­ter es­tab­lish­ing and fi­nal­iz­ing all prepa­ra­tions and safety loops for crew change dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic.

To mark the of­fi­cial ac­ti­va­tion of the coun­try’s new­est crew change hub, a launch­ing cer­e­mony will also be con­ducted on Oc­to­ber 16 at the Cebu Port Crew Change Hub lo­cated at the Port of Cebu, Pas­sen­ger Ter­mi­nal 2-Pier 3.

Other crew change hubs are at the Port of Manila, Port of Cap­in­pin in Bataan, and at the Su­bic Bay Freeport Zone.

“This is a mile­stone not just for the Port of Cebu, our mar­itime part­ners, our sea­far­ers but also for Cebu, in gen­eral, as this is also seen to gen­er­ate eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties and rev­enues,” said CPA Gen­eral Man­ager Leonilo Mi­ole af­ter DOTr ap­proved the start of crew change op­er­a­tions for the hub.

Cebu’s crew change hub will cater to Filipino sea­far­ers join­ing a ship docked in the Philip­pines for over­seas (out­bound), Filipino sea­far­ers leav­ing a ship (in­bound), for­eign sea­far­ers join­ing a ship docked in the Philip­pine sea­port from the air­port (air­port to ship), and for­eign sea­far­ers leav­ing a ship docked in the Philip­pine sea­port to an air­port (ship to air­port).

Mi­ole as­sured the pub­lic that safety pro­to­cols were al­ready in place to avoid trans­mis­sion of COVID-19 dur­ing crew change. Based on the ap­proved crew change pro­to­col, Mi­ole bared that all ar­riv­ing ves­sels shall stay at the des­ig­nated an­chor­age or dock­ing site au­tho­rized by the CPA and Philip­pine Coast Guard (PCG).

He added that dis­em­bark­ing sea­far­ers must ob­serve health and safety pro­to­cols such as dis­in­fec­tion, hand­wash­ing, so­cial dis­tanc­ing and wear­ing of full per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment (PPE) - face mask, face shield, gloves and haz­mat suit.

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