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Over 1,000 PH seafarers vaccinated during Int'l Seafarers' Day

Over 1,000 PH seafarers vaccinated during Int'l Seafarers' Day
Yashika Torib June 30, 2021

More than 1,000 Filipino seafarers nationwide received Covid-19 vaccinations in time with the International Seafarers' Day last June 25, Friday.

500 seafarers were vaccinated in Taguig City, 550 in Manila, 150 in Davao, 93 in Iloilo, and 25 in Cebu.

The vaccinations were spearheaded by the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).

The simultaneous event was held at the Amosup's Seamen's Hospital in Intramuros, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao with health workers of the Union administering Pfizer-BioNTech jabs to seafarers.

It was the first COVID-19 vaccination drive that jabbed the biggest number of seafarers on a single day to date.

"After three contracts, about 20 countries and numerous port calls, 13 RT-PCR and an Antigen test, six NAIA international departures and arrivals, napabakunahan na rin," Jasmin Labarda, a 35-year old ship captain, said.

"Now that I am vaccinated, I want to spread the word and help... If this would be the way for us to gain freedom in life, let us do it together for our country," she added.

The vaccination drive in Manila was attended by Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Chairperson of Senate Committee on Health, as the guest of honor. Also present were Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Vaccine Czar and Chief Implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF), Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad AFP (Ret), Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and Vice Admiral Rene Medina AFP (Ret), Executive Director of the STCW Office of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), accompanied Senator Go.

Meanwhile, Conrado F. Oca, President, AMOSUP president, acknowledged Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso's support for the activity. He also extended his gratitude to World Health Organization Philippines for its involvement in the program.

He appealed to all the Local Government Units across the country to follow suit. "We hope other LGUs will follow Manila and Taguig's example of vaccinating seafarers – our country's economic frontliners," he said.

"We honor and recognize all of you. I know that it has been extraordinarily difficult for you as we continue to battle the worst health crisis of our generation. We at Amosup are with you at this challenging time and we acknowledge how all of these affect your physical and mental health, and overall wellbeing," Oca said in his "International Day of the Seafarer" and "Day of the Filipino Seafarer" message.

The event was made possible by the Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (Poea), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), Department of Health – Bureau of Quarantine (Doh-Boq), Department of Foreign Affairs – Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office (Dfa-Moao), as well as the MARINO Partylist, maritime employers organizations Association of Licensed Manning Agencies (Alma) and Joint Manning Group (Jmg) and Amosup.