The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental yesterday affirmed the cargo ship originating from China that was supposed to dock at Bacolod City’s Bredco Port was forced to offload its cargo elsewhere after Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier issued an executive order prohibiting such vessels from docking at port.
PCG-Negros Occidental chief, Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin, said the Bureau of Quarantine doctor who was supposed to board the ship yesterday canceled the inspection after the order was issued.
He added, vessel operators are now making preparations to leave the city.
The PCG official said they have not yet received word as to where the ship will dock but initial information suggests they will offload in Iloilo before heading to Manila.
Benjamin also confirmed the second foreign ship placed on quarantine, the M/V BMC Catherine, was allowed to dock at Bredco Port late Thursday afternoon.
The PCG commander said the Bureau of Quarantine visited the vessel on Wednesday and confirmed the crew were all in good health and did not find anything unusual that may otherwise bar them from entering the port.
The BMC Catherine is now berthed at the Bredco Port and, as of yesterday, the ship was spotted offloading cargo.
Earlier this week, Leonardia issued an executive order banning vessels from China, Macau, and Hong Kong from docking at the city’s ports amid concerns over the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19.
He noted, the city government has been conscious of the serious threat posed by Covid-19 and the potential danger it may bring to the health, well-being, and life of city residents.
“The intention of the city government of Bacolod [is] to assume the position of taking major preventive measures to protect its citizens from possible exposure to carriers or sources of Covid-19,” the order read./DGB, WDJ