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Pinoy seafarers to have dedicated molecular laboratory

Seafarers to have dedicated molecular laboratory
Hanah Tabios October 5, 2020

Key officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) spearheaded the formal commissioning of the PPA’s reverse transcription—polymerase chain reaction (rT-PCR) molecular testing laboratory Monday.

The South Harbor Molecular Laboratory is primarily dedicated for seafarers. It is expected to cater to approximately 2,000 daily tests, with a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time for release of test results.

It will serve the testing requirements for crew change of seafarers at hubs under the control of the PPA, particularly in the Port of Manila, which was fully-activated as a crew change hub last Sept. 28, in Port Capinpin in Orion, Bataan, and in Port of Batangas.

Aside from catering laboratory tests, the facility also has a “One-Stop-Shop” that aims to provide ease in transactions for inbound and outbound travel requirements of seafarers with government agencies such as the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Immigration (BOI), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), and Bureau of Customs (BOC).

MARINA’s Overseas Shipping Service (OSS) will also assist in identifying possible isolation facilities where these “key workers” may take their mandatory quarantine until the quarantine certificates are released.