The procedures cover the following:

  • Filipino seafarers joining a ship docked in the Philippines or overseas (outbound);
  • Filipino seafarers leaving a ship (inbound);
  • Special procedures for Filipino seafarers leaving a cruise ship docked in Philippine seaports;
  • Filipino seafarers transiting in the Philippines (airport/terminal to airport/terminal);
  • Foreign seafarers joining a ship docked in the Philippine seaport from the airport (airport to ship);
  • Foreign seafarers leaving a ship docked in Philippine seaport to an airport (ship to airport);
  • Foreign seafarers transiting in the philippines (airport/terminal to airport/terminal).

According to Maritime Industry Authority chief Robert Empedrad, the revised protocol ensures that the procedures on crew change and the repatriation of seafarers are done in compliance with the existing safety and health protocols issued by concerned government agencies. The protocol on crew change and the repatriation of seafarers also follows the procedures recommended by the IMO.

However, shipping companies will not be able to implement crew change in any port. Namely, the crew change hub locations would only be allowed to begin crew changes after evaluation and approval of DoTr. This includes carrying out swab testing at the port of disembarkation.

Currently, only the Port of Manila is allowed to serve as a crew change hub, but Port Capinpin in Orion, Bataan is expected to follow suit. Other crew change hubs being considered are the ports in Subic, Batangas and Davao.