TUCP to Nigeria-bound Pinoy seafarers: Drop rest, recreation plans for now

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


SEA-BASED overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) set to dock in Nigeria are strongly being urged by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) to drop their rest and recreation (R&R) plans for the meantime or else risk acquiring the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

According to TUCP, they are hoping that Filipino sailors will observe the similar guidelines imposed earlier by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) over other Ebola-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

"With respect to Nigeria, which may not be able to contain the spread of Ebola, we are also urging Filipino sailors to exercise caution," said the TUCP.

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Earlier, the POEA issued Memorandum Circular 7-2014, wherein all shipping principals or employers of Filipino seafarers are advised to avoid shore leaves and crew changes in ports of the three affected countries.

The POEA said the directive is part of the actions being undertaken by the Philippine government in order to protect OFWs from acquiring the disease, especially in areas with EVD outbreaks.

It should be noted that Nigeria is not included in the POEA Memorandum Circular.

As for those set to dock in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the labor group said it strongly suggests that the Filipino sailors follow the POEA circular.

"Sailors should quarantine themselves and avoid shore leave when their ships stop for supplies, repairs, or trans-shipment of cargo in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone," said the TUCP.

Based on the data of the World Health Organization (WHO), there are already 2,615 cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, including 1,427 deaths.

The Philippines supplies an estimated one-third of the world’s shipping manpower with about 300,000. (HDT/Sunnex)

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