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The City Tourism Office (CTO) is confident that the National Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and Department of Health (DOH) are both “rigid” in screening cruise ships that will be allowed to dock at the port of Puerto Princesa.
CTO Chief Aileen Cynthia Amurao told Palawan Daily News (PDN) Thursday that in the midst of the outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), they trust the capacity of DOH and BOQ in determining what cruise ships may enter the country.
“Kapag binigyan ng clearance ng DOH o ‘yong quarantine service nila, ay that is the time na pupuwede silang pumasok. SIla ‘yong nagbibigay ng command sa ibang agency. We (Puerto Princesa) can only request the DOT na huwag payagan kung talagang ayaw natin. Pero nakikita naman natin na very rigid ‘yong screening na ginagawa and wala namang nakikita ‘yong ating mayor, ang ating punong-lungsod, na mae-endanger ‘yong health condition ng mga tao,” said Amurao.
Amurao reiterated that health security of the public is an utmost priority of the City Government and CTO.
She said Puerto Princesa is expecting an “initial eight to 14 cruise ship arrivals” this 2020.
However, she said two of those were already cancelled, namely the Seabourn Ovation and Silver Spirit.
Amurao further stated that the “Aida Vita” was the third cruise ship that docked at the port of Puerto Princesa since January this year.
Aida Vita docked at Puerto Princesa port Sunday, February 9.
“German vessel kasi ‘yan siya, German cruise line. Hindi naman siya talaga dumadaan ng China. Wala siyang pasaherong Chinese. Dito sa Asia parang tatlo lang naman tayong dinadaanan niya: Philippines, Kota Kinabalu, at Vietnam. Iyan lang ang ruta niya dito sa Asia. Pumasa siya doon sa quarantine. Sa pasahero naman niya [ay mga] Germans, Europeans, and Americans,” she said.
Amurao said they cannot determine yet, nor can say in the meantime, what cruise ships under the initial expected arrivals, are going to be cancelled.
She said BOQ and DOH will be those agencies to determine what cruise ships are clear from COVID-19.