On their way to the Philippines from India, BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) made a brief in Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 29, to take in 12 more Filipino tourists and overseas workers stranded due to travel restrictions spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These repatriates, who are certified to be negative of the coronavirus disease, are being accommodated aboard LD602. The onboarding process was similar to the protocols observed during the earlier repatriation of 18 Filipinos in India. They are placed in an isolated room separate from the first batch with strict and round-the-clock monitoring by a medical team.
The voyage from India to Sri Lanka was also a validation for newly-repaired PS16 that all its systems are up and running and can sustain longer travel. The two Philippine Navy vessels will immediately set sail directly to South Harbor, Manila upon completion of water and fuel replenishment.
This repatriation of 12 more stranded Filipinos was not in the original itinerary and is considered as another favorable outcome of the vessels delayed voyage home due to force majeure as it afforded Philippine authorities in Sri Lanka more time to accomplish necessary paperworks and secure medical clearances.
It is yet another manifestation of how the Philippine Navy has evolved into a more capable force that can now provide humanitarian assistance to our fellow Filipinos in need wherever they are in the world. NAVY.MIL.PH