CLARK FREEPORT -- Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) located in Subic Freeport were asked to stop hiring personnel from China.
Wilma Eisma, chair and administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said this is part of the port’s Wuhan virus protocol.
As an international port of entry, SBMA is taking the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus-acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) seriously, she added.
“I have also asked Pogo (Philippine Offshore Gambling Operation) operators in Subic to cease recruitment of personnel from China as part of precautionary measures to be required in the Subic Bay Freeport. And they have committed on Saturday, February 1, to stop flying in employees, executives, and supervisors from China until further notice,” Eisma stated.
Eisma said he asked the SBMA Board of Directors to approve the temporary ban of travelers from Wuhan and Hubei Province in China.
The SBMA chief also asked the board to approve a mandatory 14-day isolation for travelers from China and encourage three-day voluntary isolation for international travelers arriving Subic.
“We will be instituting controls at Tipo, Rizal, Magsaysay, 14th and Kalaklan gates with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (RESU) as lead agencies,” Eisma said.
Foreign nationals will be subjected to temperature check and physical observation for cough and colds, she added.
“All who are positive for high temperature, cough or colds will be sent back and not allowed to enter.”
“As always, the health and safety of our stakeholders is paramount. We expect the cooperation of everyone in this regard,” Eisma said.
The Bataan Olongapo Subic Zambales Travel Agencies Association (BOSZTAA) expressed support to the temporary banning of Chinese nationals.
“We, at the BOSZTAA hereby declares our full support to the temporary banning of Chinese nationals’ entry into our country either by land, sea, or air following the health risk scare being posed by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which has now become a global concern,” Tess Alejo, BOSZTAA president said.
The docking suspension of cruise ship carrying Chinese tourists in Subic last Wednesday, January 29, is a manifestation of the urgency and gravity of the Chinese virus outbreak, according to the travel agency group.
“It is incumbent upon us to be vigilant. Our pronouncement is more of an ounce of prevention and not meant to discriminate them,” Alejo added.