CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 16 March) — M/V Francis Xavier, a roll on-roll off (RoRo) vessel from Manila that was turned away by authorities at the Nasipit port in Agusan del Norte, finally found a safe harbor here Monday morning, allowing at least 491 passenger to disembark.
Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said he allowed the ship to dock in the port of Macabalan here after the Philippine Coast Guard told him authorities in Nasipit refused to accommodate the vessel.
Health workers wearing gloves and armed with thermal scanners immediately examined all the passengers as they left the ship.
None of the passengers registered more than 38 degrees centigrade after they were scanned with thermal guns by a team from the Department of Health-Region 10.
Moreno said at least 22 buses were waiting for the arriving passengers at the port and immediately whisked them away.
“The buses left the port immediately bound for the provinces of eastern Mindanao where most of the passengers reside,” Moreno said.
He said the health workers advised the local government units where the passengers belong to place them under a 14-day self-quarantine.
M/V Francis Xavier, a RoRo ship owned by 2Go shipping line, first arrived in Cebu City with 931 passengers last weekend ahead of the lock down ordered by President Duterte in Manila.
About 500 passengers disembarked in Cebu City. The vessel proceeded only to receive word from Nasipit authorities that the ship will not be allowed to dock in their port.
Moreno said he allowed the ship to dock in Cagayan de Oro for “humanitarian purposes.”