The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) assured that it is in control of the arrival of foreign workers, including those coming from China, and makes sure that they undergo proper quarantine procedures on Wednesday.
AFAB information officer Hazel Keith Ellorin said they found social media reports on allegations of uncontrolled foreign vessels docking and unloading at least 300 undocumented Chinese at the GN Coal Power Plant in Barangay Alas-Asin here.
She said that the AFAB Incident Management Team and the Mariveles police jointly conducted an unannounced inspection of GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Tuesday and found out that it was fake news.
“Only 15 Chinese workers arrived from Thailand before the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine last March 15. They are currently under quarantine at the second floor of the emergency/quarantine facility for persons under monitoring within the plant’s compound,” Ellorin said.
She said the 15 Chinese individuals were all documented and their arrival was coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration.
Foreign vessels, she said, legally dock to unload coal but the crews are prohibited from getting off the vessel.
Ellorin said AFAB administrator Emmanuel Pineda has requested the assistance of the Philippine Coast Guard to further intensify patrolling at the freeport’s coastal areas and the police to have heightened presence around the coal power plant facility.
“This is in order to assist AFAB in ensuring the prevention of any illegal entry of both local and foreign nationals, especially in this time of crisis,” she said.
Ellorin urged the public to be more vigilant about social media posts that have no official or authorized sources and to avoid circulating fake news that might only result in panic.
A report showed that there are about 1,000 Chinese and 2,000 Filipino workers at the coal power plant. (PNA)