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The Working Pinoy

Filipino Seafarers Continue to be Inoculated in August

Great news for our seafarers! The Office of Senator Cynthia Villar is set to hold a 3rd batch of COVID-19 vaccination this third week of August. It will be held in the Villar Tent located at the Vista Global South in Las Piñas – which is starting to become a favorite vaccination site for Filipino seafarers.

Around 3,000 seafarers are set to get their jabs this week, courtesy of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Office of Senator Villar. The vaccination of the first batch of 1,100 seafarers was held last June 25. The second batch on the other hand was held last July 28, 29, August 2, and 3. That batch consisted of around 5,000 seafarers.

Senator Villar’s family graciously hosted the vaccination drive, without cost to the government, upon request of MARINA. The family-owned Villar Tent is the only private facility chosen by MARINA for our Filipino seafarers. In addition, the two others are the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Central at the Port Area, Manila, and the Office of the Associated Marine’s Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) in Intramuros, Manila.

Starting to Become A Favorite Vaccination Place

The Villar Tent has become a favorite vaccination place for Filipino Seafarers because of their orderly implementation and convenience. Physical distancing is easy as there is ample space and sufficient seating capacity. The tent is also fully air-conditioned, air circulation is good, and the space has sufficient and clean comfort rooms.

In addition, and probably most important, health protocols are in place to ensure that all areas are disinfected. There are also strict rules to ensure that people strongly adheres to safety protocols. This includes the wearing of face masks and face shields.

A special requirement is needed by seafarers because of their overseas employment. Only Western vaccines, namely Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen can be administered to them. This is due to international requirements for travel. The same set of vaccines are expected to be inoculated in this 3rd batch.

“The vaccination of our Pinoy seafarers will allow them to go back to their ship safely to resume work in order to earn a living, as well as to give them the necessary protection against the Covid-19 and its many variants, including the most infectious and highly transmissible Delta,” said Senator Villar in a recent statement.

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More Vaccines for our Filipino Seafarers

For his part, MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Empredad said that they expect around 15,000 doses in total will be rolled out for this 3rd batch in the National Capital Region. Around 5,000 to 6,000 will be administered at the Villar Tent.

They are also expecting 80,000 more vaccines will be distributed to the other Filipino seafarers in other regions. Empredad adds that this is the allocation promised to him by IATF Sec. Carlito Galvez. This move, he explains further, brings them one step closer to ensuring the health and safety of our modern-day heroes, as well as their families and co-workers.

Senator Villar said that she is happy for the continuing inoculation of our Filipino seafarers. That they are a huge part in helping our economy remain afloat amid the pandemic.

She adds that the maritime sector has also been adversely hit by the pandemic. They were not exempt from the lockdowns, much like other industries. However, Senator Villar said that with this set of vaccinations, they can be “on board” again and will be able to continue to provide for their families.

Thank you to the combined efforts of MARINA and Senator Cynthia for ensuring the safety of our Filipino seafarers!

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