New PCG chief eyes more patrols in WPS

Newly-appointed Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Vice Admiral Joel Garcia on Wednesday eyed policies on patrolling the West Philippine Sea as foremost on his agenda.

In a statement, PCG spokesperson, Capt. Armando Balilo said Garcia, during a command conference immediately following his first arrival honors as chief of the PCG, laid down his agenda for the PCG to follow.

Pangunahin sa agenda ang polisiya patungkol sa pag papatrol sa West Philippine Sea (Foremost among his agenda is the policy regarding patrols in the West Philippine Sea),” Balilo said.

The official said Garcia vowed intensified and longer patrol hours of PCG vessels along the country’s coastlines under his command.

Sa kanyang pamumuno, mas higit na maraming oras ang gugulin ng mga barko ng coast guard para bantayan ang ating mga coastline (Under his leadership, more hours will be spent by PCG vessels in securing our coastlines),” Balilo said.

He said in time for the incoming “Undas,” maritime safety and preparation for the rush of maritime commuters are also part of Garcia’s immediate concerns.

Balilo said the new PCG chief wants to intensify the training of PCG personnel in preparation for new maritime challenges.

Binigyan diin ni Garcia ang patuloy na vigilance sa paglaban sa terrorismo at ang all-out support ng kanyang administrasyon sa paglaban sa droga (It was emphasized by Garcia the continued vigilance in the fight against terrorism and the all-out support of his administration in the fight against drugs),” Balilo added.

On Tuesday, Malacañang announced Garcia’s appointment as Commandant of the PCG in a document signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Garcia replaced Admiral Elson Hermogino, who retired from the PCG’s top position after his 38 years in the uniformed service.

Before his appointment as chief of the PCG, Garcia was the PCG Deputy Commandant for Administration and executive director of the National Coast Watch Center.

On Oct. 10, Garcia was short-listed by Hermogino as one of his five potential replacements.

Hermogino said the candidates were the most senior officers of the PCG aside from possessing the necessary qualifications. PNA.GOV.PH