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AMOSUP opens facilities for seafarer vaccination

AMOSUP opens facilities for seafarer vaccination
Yashika F. Torib June 9, 2021

The vaccination program for Filipino seafarers will start rolling out this month with the Association of Marine Officers' and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) opening its facilities nationwide as the venue of inoculation.

Around 30,000 seafarers are to be vaccinated this June. The master list of vaccine recipients will come from the database of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

"We must be aggressive in carrying out the inoculation of our seafarers who are our country's economic frontliners and lifeblood of the global shipping industry," says Conrado F. Oca, AMOSUP president.

An official statement released by AMOSUP revealed that the use of their Seamen's Hospitals in Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao was approved by the technical working group (TWG) composed of key government agencies such as Marina, Poea, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DoH-BoQ), Association of Licensed Manning Agencies (ALMA), and the Joint Manning Group (JMG).

The schedule of vaccination will be based on the deployment plan that the domestic ship operators and local manning agencies will submit to Marina every month. Seafarers will then be instructed to register through Marina's Seafarers Covid-19 Vaccination Platform.

All registered seafarers for vaccination will be required to present their Seafarer's Record Book and Overseas Exit Clearance or Sea Service Certification at the inoculation sites.

The TWG designated seafarer vaccination sites in Amosup's Seafarer House in Intramuros, Manila, Gig Oca Robles Seamen's Hospital in Davao, Amosup Seamen's Hospital in Iloilo, and Amosup Seamen's Hospital in Cebu.

A Marina advisory also announced that local government units (LGU) can likewise be used as a vaccination site for seafarers "whose residential location is more practical and convenient for their inoculation."

Before its involvement in the national vaccination program, Amosup, through the assistance of the International Workers Transport Federation Seafarers' Trust (ITFST), has put up a molecular and PCR laboratory for seafarers at the Seamen's Hospital in Intramuros, Manila last September.

This led to collaboration with maritime stakeholders such as the International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC), ITF, and Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) to establish the "safe corridor quarantine and testing initiative" for seafarers.

To date, the Philippines remains the leading source of seafarers worldwide with 730,651 active seafarers according to data from Marina.

AMOSUP's general membership is composed of over 100,000 Filipino seafarers.