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CPA: Free net access for seafarers aboard docked vessels at Cebu International Port

CPA: Free net access for seafarers aboard docked vessels at CIP
Futch Anthony Inso | September 19,2021

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Seafarers on board vessels docking at Cebu International Port (CIP) will enjoy free and unlimited internet access.

This was announced by the Cebu Port Authority as they celebrate the 22nd National Maritime Week starting from September 20-26, 2021, in partnership with the Associated Philippine Seafarers Union (APSU) and a telecommunication company.

CPA will provide portable wi-fi units to ships at berth while docked at CIP.

The program aims to help seafarers that are unable to leave their ships due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions to keep in touch with their families.

“Because of pandemic-related restrictions, seafarers are currently unable to disembark from their vessels while docked at ports,” said CPA General Manager Leonilo Miole said.

“Spending months at sea and long periods away from home make seafarers vulnerable to mental health issues. By providing free internet access while docked at CIP, seafarers can use it to connect with families, friends, watch movies, and get updated,” said Miole.

This year’s 22nd National Maritime Week celebration holds a theme of “Seafarers: At the Core Shipping’s Future.” The agency will also celebrate National Seafarers Day on September 26, 2021.

“The global shipping industry has played a vital role in COVID-19 response. Seafarers are key in delivering the majority of our supplies and essential commodities needed to run our societies that include food, fuel, manufactured goods, medical supplies, among others,” he said.

Lawyer Joselito Pedaria, APSU officer-in-charge and Cebu Port Commissioner for Cargo Handling and Labor Sector, for his part, said that the initiative was also a simple way of recognizing the major contributions of seafarers as frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.