Eastern Samar urges gov’t to stop entry of vessel carrying Chinese nationals

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Photo Courtesy of CBCP/Fr. Christian Ofilan

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 4) — Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said he has alerted national government authorities to bar the entry of a vessel allegedly carrying Chinese nationals to the province’s Homonhon Island.

"I have already alerted the [Philippine National Police], coast guard and quarantine [office] of [Department of Health] to prevent this from docking in Homonhon,” Evardone told CNN Philippines in a text message. "We need to protect the health and safety of my constituents,”

This comes after Catholic bishops reported that a local church received information that a Chinese-manned cargo vessel was scheduled to dock on the island.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines quoted Fr. Christian Ofilan of the St. John the Baptist Parish as saying people are “anxious and concerned” over this development.

The vessel will reportedly load about 7,000 metric tons of chromite ore from a company’s mining operations, CBCP relayed.

The country is currently under a state of public health emergency over the coronavirus disease pandemic. Government has since imposed travel restrictions and other quarantine measures to prevent the further spread of the deadly disease, which has already killed 144 people and infected over 3,000 others.