CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–With the influx of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in Northern Mindanao at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Port Authority (PPA)–10 has now intensified health safety protocols at the port to prevent the spread of the virus.
PPA Port Services Division Manager Ruby Maria Gumapon said during the recently held “Talakayan sa PIA” that they ensure the protection of all against the virus while providing quality seaport services.
“In the management of LSIs and ROFs at the port, we follow certain procedures so that upon the arrival of the vessels, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and Department of Health (DOH) -10 and their health workers are in the foreground. Once the passengers disembark, right in the area of the gangplank or where the vessel is docked, the BOQ and DOH personnel would conduct health screenings and thermal body scans,” she said.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)–10, on the other hand, would also check travel documents such as medical clearances and travel papers for disembarking passengers.
The PPA has designated areas for those having abnormal body temperatures and other health problems.
“There is a profile sheet which the arriving passenger would fill up to contain his name, address, and travel history,” she said.
After that, a coordination would be made with the concerned LGUs to pick up the LSIs and ROFs and bring them to their own destinations where they are to comply with the health protocols imposed by their respective local government units (LGUs).
“For PPA alone, we have installed handwashing stations in our passenger terminal complex and we perform disinfection every 24 hours to ensure the integrity of the area,” Gumapon disclosed.
The port authority also upholds stringent measures such requiring everybody who enters the port to adhere to the mandatory rule of wearing face mask, strategically providing alcohol and sanitizers at different points in the complex, thermal scanning, and the need to fill up the PPA protocol form before entering the premises for contact tracing purposes.
Despite the often complex health measures and challenges the PPA is currently facing, Gumapon is still thankful for the support and cooperation among government and private agencies in mitigating the spread of the virus. (VPSB/PIA10)