August 26th, 2020 Philippines Opens Additional Crew Change Hubs, Aims to be Crew Change Capital of the World

The Philippine government activates another ‘crew change hub’, this time at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The move aims to address the global need for fresh crew of ships operated by around 1.5 million seafarers, 25% of which are Filipinos.

August 19th, 2020 Groups Push for More Flights for Stranded Seafarers

Some groups and an airline firm are asking the government to allow more humanitarian flights to cater to stranded Filipino seafarers abroad. They say there are an estimated 100,000 of them who are either stranded abroad or waiting for flights to board their ships.

August 19th, 2020 COVID-19 Philippine President Eases Metro Manila to General Community Quarantine until 31 August

President Rodrigo Duterte heeds the recommendation of Metro Manila mayors to ease the lockdown restriction in the region. In a speech Monday night, 17 August 2020. Duterte announced that Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will now shift to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting 19 August 2020.

August 12th, 2020 DFA Releases Updated List on Travel Bans, Restrictions

More countries opened their doors to Filipino travelers. Among them are Somalia and Rwanda which now allow inbound and outbound travel subject to flight availability and country's medical protocols on arriving international passengers, respectively. Seychelles has also been included in the updated list.

August 12th, 2020 MARINA Releases New Guidelines for Seafarers

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) issued new procedures, health, and safety protocols for the repatriation of seafarers and crew changes in domestic and international ports in the country in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 12th, 2020 Local Airline Starts Seafarer Flights to Sri Lanka

Meanwhile, local airline AirAsia Philippines has started its seafarer repatriation flights to Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport. The first AirAsia Phillippines charter had landed at Mattala Airport on August 9. Another flight, carrying 14 Filipino seafarers meanwhile left the Sri Lankan airport the next day, August 10.

August 5th, 2020 More International Airports Open for Filipinos Amidst MECQ

Essential travel remains open in the Philippines despite the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to place Metro Manila and nearby provinces to stricter quarantine measures. In fact, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced more international airports opening up for Filipino travelers.

August 4th, 2020 COVID-19 Metro Manila Reverts to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine until August 18

President Rodrigo Duterte heeds the call of medical groups calling for stricter quarantine measures in the Philippines. A Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the second highest health measure, will be implemented in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan starting 4 August until 18 August.