Cruise ship carrying Chinese tourists cancels port call at Subic amid protest

Around 200 people gathered Tuesday at the Volunteers’ Park outside the Subic Bay Freeport to call on authorities to stop a cruise ship with Chinese tourists from coming to Subic Bay. (Photo by Joanna Rose Aglibot)

OLONGAPO CITY –– After a mounting opposition, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) confirmed on Tuesday that a cruise ship with Chinese tourists would no longer make a port call here.

M/V Dream World arrived on Tuesday at Pier 15 of the Port of Manila from Hong Kong. It was scheduled to arrive at Subic Bay on Wednesday morning.

Around 200 people gathered at the Volunteers’ Park here, just outside the Subic Bay Freeport, to call on authorities to stop the ship from coming to Subic Bay amid the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that began in China.

Lawyer Wilma Eisma, SBMA chair and administrator, said the cancellation of the ship’s port call here was a result of her meeting with the shipowner on Tuesday afternoon.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr. said the port call of cruise ships must be temporarily stopped “until the threat [of coronavirus] has been controlled.”

Paulino said various cities worldwide have already implemented lock-downs in response to the disease./lzb