Duterte appoints new Coast Guard chief

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has named Vice Admiral Joel Sarsiban Garcia as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), replacing retiring Elson Hermogino.

Garcia will assume the position to be left behind by Hermogino on Thursday, Oct. 24. His appointement was cited in a letter signed by President Duterte on Monday but was made public on Tuesday.

Garcia is the current Executive Director of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC), under the Office of the President; and the Chairperson of the Regional Cooperation  Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Governing Council, based in Singapore. He is a graduate of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy and a licensed master mariner. 

Garcia earned his Masters of Science degree in Maritime Safety Administration from the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden and Masters in Shipping Management from the Philippine Merchant Academy (PMMA). 

The new PCG commandant also got a Doctors degree in Philosophy in Public Administration from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) and was also a professor in Maritime Administration and Environmental Economics subjects in the PMMA Graduate School.

Garcia commanded capital ships from the navy and the coast guard, held key positions at the headquarters and likewise led four coast guard districts, two functional commands and two major support commands.

“The Command is very thankful to the President for choosing a visionary leader who cares for the welfare of his subordinates and is passionate in accomplishing the PCG’s mandates,” PCG Spokesperson Captain Armando Balilo said.

“We are also grateful for the outgoing Commandant, Admiral Elson E Hermogino PCG, for he steered the organization in achieving great feats towards the advancement of the Command. Adm Hermogino has truly served his entire military service with selfless devotion for the benefit of the Filipino nation,” he added./PN


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