This photo release shows newly appointed Philippine Coast Guard commandant George Ursabia Jr.
Philippine Coast Guard, released
Duterte names Task Group Laban COVID-19 head new Coast Guard chief
Kristine Joy Patag ( - June 1, 2020 - 3:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed V.Adm.George Ursabia Jr. as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard.

Duterte’s appointment letter for Ursabia is dated June 1, the same day that Adm. Joel Garcia retired after 35 years of service.

Garcia said: “I know that Vice Admiral Ursabia will continue the significant developments that as a leader at the helm, must geared upon for the greater benefits of the Command.”

Prior to his new designation as PCG chief, Ursabia led the Coast Guard’s Marine Environmental Protection Command and Task Group Laban COVID-19.

Ursabia is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987 and has been in active service for 36 years, holding positions in the PCG and the Philippine Navy.

In 2019, the Sandiganbayan junked a graft case against Ursabia and more than 20 other members of the PCG after the court found merit in the Office of the Ombudsman’s withdrawal of cases against them.

Among of the reasons cited in the withdrawal of the cases are the insufficiency of evidence and the Court of Appeal’s dismissal

At the PCG, Ursabia previously served as commander of Coast Guard Districts in Central Visayas, Palawan, Southeastern Mindanao and Northern Luzon. He also served as commander of the Coast Guard Ready Force and Staff for Maritime Safety Affairs.

The Coast Guard also said that Ursabia “earned the most coveted Command-at-Sea Badge as he commanded three Coast Guard Search and Rescue vessels namely: BRP Romblon (SARV-3503), BRP Davao del Norte (SARV 3504) and BRP Pampanga (SARV 003) as well as three Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 30-meter patrol boats.”

The change of command at the PCG happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the PCG takes on various roles in the implementation of health protocols against the coronavirus threat.

The PCG is also lending its force to help the tens of thousands Overseas Filipino Workers returning to the country.

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