M/V Unicorn Bravo, anchored several kilometers off Bredco port in this city after arriving from Xiamen on Monday, is expected to depart Bacolod anytime soon after Mayor Evelio Leonardia banned all vessels coming from China in any port here.
Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin, head of Philippine Coast Guard Negros Occidental, said on Friday they are complying with the mayor's order even as he earlier said that the vessel is still being placed under quarantine.
Based on our coordination with the shipping agent, they are scheduled to depart anytime, Benjamin told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
The cargo ship's notice of arrival stated that it is manned by 19 crew members, including 15 Chinese nationals and four Burmese nationals.
The vessel, which flies the Panamanian flag, is carrying 3,300 metric tons of ammonium sulfate fertilizer to be delivered to La Filipina Uygongco Corp. at the Bredco port.
On Wednesday night, Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 11, prohibiting all vessels coming from China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, from docking in any of its seaports as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus respiratory disease 2019 (Covid 19).
It is the intention of the City Government of Bacolod to assume the position of taking major preventive measures to protect its citizens from possible exposure to carriers or sources of the Covid 19, the order stated.
It cited the temporary travel ban for people coming from China, Hong Kong and Macao issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on January 31 upon the recommendation of the Inter Agency Task Force for Emerging and Re emerging Diseases.
Leonardia said the ban will have very minimal impact on the city's economy.
Probably, it could affect some sectors, but it does not mean that we have closed ourselves to the whole world. We have other sources of supply. We are only preventing sea vessels coming from China from docking here, he added.
SOURCE: PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY