Coast Guard, BCPO to impose ban on vessels from China

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bacolod City as well as the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) will impose the Executive Order (EO) 11 banning the entry of any and all vessels coming or arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau into any Bacolod seaports to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

This was stressed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia Thursday, February 27, after he issued the EO on Wednesday evening.

Leonardia said the PCG-Bacolod already informed him that they will implement the EO.

He said he directed BCPO director Colonel Henry Binas to monitor all the seaports in Bacolod City to ensure that all vessels coming from China, Hongkong and Macau will not dock here.

“We do not want to take any chances (spread of Covid-19),” he added.

The EO stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared on January 30, 2020 the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHWIC). It is well understood that the WHO directs the urgent need to coordinate the international efforts to minimize the threat of the Covid-19 and to reduce the risk of further international spread.

Through the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for emerging and re-emerging disease, President Rodrigo Duterte issued on January 31, 2020 a temporary travel ban for travelers coming from China, Hong Kong and Macau, the EO further stated.

It added that Section 16 or Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code provides that “every local government unit shall exercise the power expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things promote health and safety.

Leonardia said the City Government of Bacolod has been conscious about the serious threat of the Covid-19 and the potential danger it may bring to the health, well-being and life of its citizens, taking into account the declaration of the WHO and the travel ban issued by the President.

He said it is the intention of the City Government of Bacolod to assume the position of taking major preventive measures to protect its citizens from possible exposure to carriers or sources of the Covid-19.

He added the EO is effective as long as there’s a Covid-19 scare.

Bacolod City has a total of two seaports including the Bredco and Banago Ports.

Dr. Grace Tan, spokesperson of Bacolod Inter-Agency Task Force Covid-19, said on Tuesday, a cargo vessel from Vietnam, loaded with cement, arrived in Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco) Port and they were only allowed to disembark their goods, while the MV Unicorn Bravo vessel from China, loaded with fertilizer, is still 7 to 8 kilometers away from the port.

She said the task force earlier issued a resolution mandating the Bureau of Quarantine to inspect and clear all foreign vessels coming in at the port of Bacolod City.

“This is not only for the Covid-19, but this is in line with our preparation for any emerging and re-emerging infectious disease so all the foreign vessels coming in will be monitored, checked and cleared by the Bureau of Quarantine,” she added.


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