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By: Mylen Manto | Published Monday, April 27, 2020
Upon their arrival, the 185 seafarers from Manila will be escorted straight to a quarantine facility in Cebu City. They can only be allowed to return to their hometowns when the mandatory quarantine is complete and negative results come out of their COVID-19 tests. These are the protocols agreed by local and national government officials in an emergency meeting on Monday, April 27. (Lito Tecson)

The 185 repatriated Cebuano seafarers who are set to arrive in Cebu City on Tuesday, April 28 will be put on a 14-day mandatory quarantine before they will be allowed to go to their respective hometowns.

Upon their arrival in Cebu City port, the seafarers will be escorted to the hotels for the quarantine. Once the quarantine is complete, they will then be turned over to the local government units of their hometowns to ensure their safe and smooth arrival in their homes. 

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia shared this after meeting with the representatives of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) 7, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) 7, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Department of Health (DOH) 7 on Monday, April 27.

The governor asked OWWA for coordination on repatriation trips of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Cebu after learning of the seafarers' trip through social media.

“Coordinate lang unta kay we are all in this together. Kadako namo’g tulubagon anang 185 kabuok,” she said. 

OWWA 7 Administrative Assistant Eda Marie Enclonar said they have coordinated the trip with PNP and DOH. 

Police Regional Office 7 Director Ignatius Ferro assured the governor that they will secure the hotels upon their arrival until the completion of their quarantine.

DOH 7 chief Jaime Bernadas also said the 185 seafarers will be subjected to another COVID-19 test during their stay at the hotels.

Enclonar said the repatriation of these seafarers was facilitated by the Department of Transportation. 

She said Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of National Task Force COVID-19, signed the travel authority of the arriving seafarers after completing their quarantine and tested negative in the rapid diagnostic test conducted in Manila.

Meanwhile, Garcia disclosed that a lot of Cebuanos from Singapore contacted her via social networking sites because they wanted to go home through direct flight instead of the Singapore to Manila flight as what the Philippine Embassy in Singapore told them.

She said she cannot decide on the Singapore to Cebu flight because it is beyond her jurisdiction as a provincial governor. 

“Di mahimo nga ang Cebu magbuot-buot ninyo. As of now, wala tay flights coming in gikan sa gawas to Cebu,” Garcia said. (Mylen Manto)