Manila, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has imposed a ban on dine-in for all food establishments operating within its premises nationwide and advised its employees and stakeholders to avail themselves of “take-out” services in its bid to slow if not to contain the spread of coronavirus.

It has likewise directed the strict observance of “No Smoking Policy” for all its employees and stakeholders while inside and within its buildings in compliance with Memorandum Circular No. 17, series of 2009 of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) otherwise known as Smoking Prohibition Based on 100% Smoke-Free Policy which prohibits smoking in or on the premises, buildings, and ground of government agencies.

MARINA Administrator Robert A Empedrad said that these measures are necessary to promote public health safety for all MARINA employees, utility personnel, and stakeholders transacting physically with the Agency.

As of 14 September 2020, the MARINA had a total number of 46 COVID19 cases where 37 of them have already fully recovered while 9 remain as active cases.

This situation has prompted the Agency to reduce its operations by almost 50% and has hugely impacted the processing of applications of seafarers lodged through its online platforms.

Administrator Empedrad said that “We can no longer afford to have COVID19 infections affecting our employees as there is now an urgent need for the Agency to restore its frontline services to full or normal operations.”