Vessels caught violating ECQ to be barred from docking at Bohol ports: PPA

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Vessels caught violating ECQ to be barred from docking at Bohol ports: PPA

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Shipping firms proven to have violated Bohol’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be barred from docking at ports under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in the province, a local official said following the controversial entry of two cops into the island from Cebu on board separate vessels earlier this month.

James Gantalao, PPA Bohol manager, said that they will no longer issue berthing permits to vessels which have violated ECQ rules particularly the passenger travel ban which was implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID) 19.

Fines will not be imposed by the PPA on violators but Gantalao believes that disallowing them from docking at ports in the province would be more severe for shipping firms.

“Mas sakit ang penalty na dii siya hatahan og berthing allocation kay mag lutaw-lutaw jud siya,” Gantalao said.

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The PPA official however noted that violators will be given a chance to explain their side before deciding if they will be slapped with the penalty.

Gantalao said that vessels still frequently dock at various ports in the province to transport goods but passengers are barred from entering the island.

Only persons with a permit from the provincial government particularly Governor Arthur Yap may be allowed to enter the province while the passenger travel ban is enforced.

Based on Executive Order No. 8-A, which was signed by Yap on March 14, health workers, authorized government officials, those travelling for medical or humanitarian reasons, persons providing basic services and public utilities, bank personnel and other bank employees on official business may be exempted from the travel ban.

Provincial Emergency Management Administration ground commander Alfonso Damalerio said that applications for the travel pass will go through his office to determine the necessity of the applicant’s travel into the province then submitted to Yap for approval.

Earlier this month, two policemen identified as Patrolman McDenlour Lumor and Staff Sgt. Sandro Tandugon were reported to have entered the province through the ports of Loon and Tubigon, respectively, in violation of the ECQ.

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Both incidents quickly drew ire from the public amid the provincial government’s efforts to keep the province free from COVID 19.

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Damalerio has assured that charges will be filed against both policemen. (A. Doydora)

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