IN TIME for the World Maritime Day Celebration on Thursday, September 24, 2020, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) announced that preparations are underway for the activation of the One-Stop Shop (OSS) for a crew change in Cebu port.
Following the recent activation of three new crew change hubs in the Port of Manila, Port of Capinpin in Bataan, and at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Raul Del Rosario, Assistant Secretary Narciso Vingson Jr., with CPA General Manager Leonilo Miole and key officials of the Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine National Red Cross, Bureau of Quarantine, and Philippine Coast Guard conducted an ocular inspection at Pier 3 Cebu Baseport on Thursday.
It is the proposed location of the Cebu OSS crew change hub. Miole said this is in line with the intention of the DOTr to activate more OSS crew change hubs in the country that will allow operators of maritime vessels to rotate their crew members serving beyond the limits.
As per the International Labour Organization (ILO) seafarers could only serve on board a vessel without leave of up to a maximum of 11 months.
This is also an initiative of the Philippine Government in response to travel restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic where port restrictions and canceled flights are straining shipping firms to replace seafarers and having their contracts extended.
“We welcome this new development as the activation of one-stop-shop crew change hubs primarily aims to facilitate the speedy movement and transfer of stranded seafarers off their vessels, at the same time, this will also generate economic activities and revenues for us with the collection of port dues and charges from ship dockage or anchorage,” Miole said.
To guarantee that the health and safety of seafarers and the public, Miole assured that DOTr and CPA are working closely with the Department of Health (DOH) and other partner government agencies for the establishment of a one-stop shop in the hub to harmonize and facilitate inter-agency efforts and the management of Returning Overseas Filipinos.
He said they are in the preparation stage and currently complying with the requirements set by the DOTr.
"Rest assured that the protocols for safe ship crew changes and travel are undertaken in compliance with existing safety and health protocols issued by the DOH and other concerned government agencies,” he said.(WBS with PR)