THE TRANSPORTATION department said the government is currently in talks with shipping and logistics provider 2Go Group, Inc. for its planned use of vessels as “floating quarantine hospitals.”

“We will update [everyone] once details are finalized. Department of Transportation (DoTr), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are in talks with 2Go,” Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran told reporters via Viber on Thursday.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law on March 24 Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, authorizing him to exercise powers “necessary and proper” to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The law states that “when the public interest so requires,” the President can direct the operation of any privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities including passenger vessels and other establishments to house health workers; serve as quarantine areas or centers; and public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel and other persons; among others. — Arjay L. Balinbin