Duterte names Ursabia as new PCG chief

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice Admiral George Ursabia as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

In a letter of appointment signed by Duterte, Ursabia will take over the position effective June 1 as Admiral Joel Garcia retires from the Coast Guard Service.

Prior to his designation as new PCG chief, Ursabia served as the Commander of the PCG-Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM) and the Task Group Laban COVID-19 Water Cluster, which oversees the deployment and operations of PCG personnel to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino people in this time of pandemic.

He also commanded the Coast Guard Districts Central Visayas, Palawan, Southeastern Mindanao and Northern Luzon, aside from his other positions as the Commander of the Coast Guard Ready Force and Staff for Maritime Safety Affairs.

According to a PCG statement, Ursabia is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Hinirang Class of 1987.

He later pursued a Master of Science Degree in Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection as a scholar of Sasakawa Foundation, Japan and eventually earned the said post-graduate degree from the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden in 1999.

Information from the PCG further stated that in Ursabia’s more than 36 years of active service, he held major positions both in the Philippine Navy and the PCG.

He is also a holder of “the most coveted Command-at-Sea Badge” as he commanded three Coast Guard SAR vessels namely BRP Romblon (SARV-3503), BRP Davao Del Norte (SARV 3504), and BRP Pampanga (SARV 003) as well as three (3) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 30-meter patrol boats, the agency said.

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

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