President Duterte has appointed Vice Admiral Joel S. Garcia as the new and 28th commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In a news statement, Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo said Garcia’s appointment paper was signed on October 21, but the incoming commandant will assume his new post on Thursday, October 24, after Admiral Elson Hermogino officially retires from the Coast Guard service.
Garcia is currently the deputy commandant for administration of the PCG.
“We are confident that the incoming commandant, a man of vast knowledge, competence and integrity, would continue to lead and advance the PCG to greater heights,” Panelo said.
Garcia was included among the five senior officers who have been recommended to succeed Hermogino.
Hermogino, a member of Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985 have already reached the retirement age of 56, and has served 38 years in the Armed Forces and the PCG.
The recommendation was submitted to Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, who later on endorsed the candidates to the President.
Garcia is the current executive director of the National Coast Watch Center under the Office of the President and the chairman of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Governing Council based in Singapore.
He has also commanded capital ships from the Navy and PCG and held key positions at the headquarters and, likewise, led four PCG districts, two functional commands and two major support commands.
Garcia is a graduate of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy class of 1985 and a licensed master mariner. He earned his master’s degree in Maritime Safety Administration from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, and Masters in Shipping Management from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy.
Garcia earned his doctorate degree in Philosophy in Public Administration from Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, and was conferred a doctorate degree in Humanities by the Sulu State College for his humanitarian services.