BRP Gabriela Silang arriving Tuesday, may be turned in hospital ship
The Philippine Coast Guard's (PCG) first Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) will arrive in the country on Tuesday.
Commodore Armando Balilo, PCG spokesman, said the BRP Gabriela Silang will arrive in South Harbor from Malta Freeport around 9am.
Balilo said the government may also use BRP Gabriela Silang as a hospital ship like the two vessels offered by the 2GO travel company.
"Tomorrow BRP Gabriela Silang will arrive, it can also be used as floating hospital together with the two 2GO ships," he said.
BRP Gabriela Silang, the 83.6-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) from France was initially scheduled to arrive in Philippine on February 10.
Instead of directly sailing to the Philippine, BRP Gabriela Silang was directed to assist in the possible repatriation of OFW from the Middle East after the conflict in Iran worsened early this year.
Balilo said the two ships from 2GO are expected to arrive at Pier 13 in South Harbor on Monday afternoon.
"This will be used as quarantine ships. The DOH (Department of Health), BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) and PCG medical personnel will conduct inspection," he said.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) the ships have a capacity to serve more than 1,000 patients.
"Currently, 2GO Shipping has agreed to convert two of their ships into ‘quarantine ships’ that can serve 1,500 patients and will be operational by next week, subject to close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ)," said DOTr.
"More shipping companies are now expressing their intention to join the project," it added. Robina Asido/DMS