The facility was built by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) from the donation of the Lopez Group of Companies.
In a video blog on the launching of the new facility yesterday, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the new facility will be able to house seafarers engaged in crew change activities—the disembarkation of crew of oceangoing ships who finished their contracts and their replacement by a fresh batch of seafarers.
“Mayroon siyang 25 na beds na dedicated doon sa mga in critical condition at mayroon din naman na around 75 for patients with mild conditions. At mayroon din siyang nursing stations. Doon naman sa likod, mayroon comfort rooms na napakaganda,” ASec. Libiran said.
She said the construction of the facility with a floor area of 1,271 square meters began on September 23 and was completed on October 7. Before its completion, seafarers awaiting their Covid-19 test results were quarantined in facilities far away from the port.
Port Capinpin, which opened for crew change last month, has started to attract foreign vessels planning to carry out crew swap after PPA had reduced port charges to 50 % for ships conducting such operation in the port, which only five nautical miles from the Port of Manila.
ASec. Libiran explained that seafarers scheduled to go onboard their ships anchored off Port Capinpin need to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at the South Harbor Molecular Laboratory in Port Area, Manila, which opened last Monday, October 5.
They will stay at the newly built quarantine facility while waiting for the result of their RT-PCR test. Should they turned positive for Covid-19, they would have to remain in the facility. Only those found negative would be allowed to go and join their ships