The strong advice from CE Amaro, now a Liberian Flag State inspector, was prompted by reports from friends from manning agencies of a relatively high number among seafarers, scheduled to leave to join their vessels, who turned out to be COVID positive
“Dapat mag-ingat sila kasi, according to statistics, (batay sa) nakakausap kong mga manning agencies, yung mga seaman ng umaalis, between 10 % and 11 % may COVID. Kaya yung sasampa ng barko, mag ingat sila,” the former MARINA chief urged seafarers.
In an interview over Facebook Line, CE Amaro said that one of the reasons for contracting the disease is the seafarers’ complacency.
“Komo may kaya sila, di tulad ng iba na wala pera kaya hindi makaalis ng bahay, may pera sila, may pambili sa supermarket, kaya alis nang alis. Dapat manatili sila sa bahay.”
It is a big problem for the manning agency and the principal as well if the outbound seafarers were found positive of the contagious disease.
“Minsan kailangan nasa airport na habang naghihintay ng result ng COVID test kasi sa Singapore 48 hours (since the release of the RT-PCR test result) lang allowed before boarding the vessel,” CE Amaro pointed out.
The seafarers would be sent home, and the principal would be forced to look elsewhere, or other nationality, if the local manning agency does not have readily available crew.
“Malaking gastos para sa may-ari ng barko, maghahanap ng iyan ng kapalit. That’s double expense,” he said.
The former administrator of MARINA chief, however, disclosed during the interview that the situation is the opposite for the off signers; very negligible from those who disembarked were tested positive for the disease.
“Sa mga nagsa-sign off napakababa ang nagpa-positive,” CE Amrao said, but he did not mention any statistics.