MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has published guidelines on the optimization of physical distancing and carriage of passengers on board passenger ships as a way to boost ridership in public transportation.

This is in response to Resolution No. 67 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), and in line with the proposal made by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to increase the number of commuters by reducing the physical distance required in public transportation.

The MARINA Advisory No. 69 provides the physical distance required between riders and the number of passengers allowed on board, which are completely dependent on the classification of community quarantine where the ships are currently operating in. The periods of the effectivity of these guidelines are also provided in the said Advisory.

A 0.75 meter of physical distance between passengers and an authorized capacity of 75% is allowed for ships traveling from areas under GCQ to GCQ, and vice versa. Meanwhile, a .50 meter of physical distance between passengers and an authorized capacity of 85% is allowed for passenger ships operating in areas under GCQ which will be traveling to areas under MGCQ, and vice versa. Lastly, passenger ships traveling from areas under MGCQ to MGCQ are allowed to have .30 meter of physical distance between passengers and an authorized capacity of 90%.

Additionally, the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields for passengers including the officers and ship crew, and a one (1) meter physical distance between passengers during boarding and disembarkation will be strictly implemented.

It is urged that stakeholders should comply with these ship safety rules and regulations, implement safety protocols and precautionary measures set, so that the public can adapt to contain the spread of COVID-19 as promoting habits. The health of the seagoing public and commuters necessitates safety protocols and policies.

The commitment of MARINA to all ship owners, ship operators, ship managers, bareboat charterers, and all concerned stakeholders is to ensure maritime safety at all times, especially amidst the ongoing pandemic.

The condition that all ships operating in routes or areas under ECQ or MECQ shall be limited to the carriage of cargoes is retained while all other MARINA Advisories and issuances inconsistent with MA 2020-69 are amended accordingly.