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Marina orders compliance of seafarer’s ‘green lane’ Genivi Factao

Marina orders compliance of seafarer’s ‘green lane’
Genivi Factao July 8, 2020

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has directed all manning agencies to comply with the “green lane” protocols that would facilitate the efficient and speedy travel of seafarers, who perform an important role in the global supply chain.

Marina Administrator Robert Empedrad said a joint circular has been signed to establish the “green lane” to speed up the safe travel of seafarers and enjoins the compliance of seafarer, licensed manning agency, shipping principal or their agents.

The joint circular was signed to establish the “Philippine Green Lane” that would ensure seafarers were accorded speedy and safe travel, including their safe and swift disembarkation and crew change during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Manning agencies were ordered to follow all the embarkation and disembarkation protocols in the joint circular that was signed last July 2.

Marina has directed them to ensure that all the necessary documents and clearances are complete. These include the letter from the principal, a declaration signifying a seafarer’s knowledge and understanding of risks involved, employment contract issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), passport, seafarer identity document and/or seafarer record book, valid seafarer certificates, valid medical clearance for Covid-19, and other pre-departure and/or travel documents.

These must all be submitted within 24 hours prior to the deadline or intended date of arrival or disembarkation.

Marina said manning agencies should coordinate with the concerned government agencies and local government units to provide the appropriate Covid-19 testing for its seafarers, as well as meals, accommodation and transportation from the point of hire to intended destination as conditions require.

For inbound and repatriated Filipino seafarers, the cost of the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing for Covid-19 will be charged to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Manning agencies must provide Covid-19 testing to outbound Filipino seafarers as required under existing health guidelines. They can coordinate with the relevant medical facility for the provision of appropriate treatment should seafarers test positive for Covid-19.

The joint circular was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

The greenlane is aimed at facilitating the creation of controlled travel corridor to open the Philippines for people-to-people and economic exchange, and stimulate the Philippine economy.

This would also control the risk of spreading Covid-19 during crew change or repatriation by managing their movement whether they are traveling by ship or plane.