Duterte names Vice Admiral Joel Garcia as new PH Coast Guard chief
Robie de Guzman • October 22, 2019 • 183
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice Admiral Joel Garcia as the new commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the agency’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Garcia will take over the position on Thursday, Oct. 24 from Admiral Elson Hermogino who is set to retire this week, PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said in a statement.
Garcia is PCG’s current deputy commandant for administration and the executive director of the National Coast Watch Center under the Office of the President. He also serves as the chairperson of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Governing Council, based in Singapore.
He earned his Masters of Science degree in Maritime Safety Administration from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden and Masters in Shipping Management from the Philippine Merchant Academy.
He also has a Doctors degree in Philosophy in Public Administration from Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), and a professor in Maritime Administration and Environmental Economics subjects in the PMMA Graduate School, the PCG said.
Likewise, Garcia commanded capital ships from the navy and the coast guard, held key positions at the headquarters. He also led four coast guard districts, two functional commands and two major support commands.
Malacañang said the President signed Garcia’s appointment paper on Monday, Oct. 21.
“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,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.
“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.
President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.
The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to ban the use of plastics in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president mentioned the idea during a discussion on climate change in a Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.
“The president floated the idea to ban the use of plastics, which according to him would require legislative action,” Panelo told reporters but said he is not sure if Duterte was referring to single-use plastics.
There are bills filed in Congress seeking to ban the use of single-use plastics that are currently pending at a committee level.
These measures seek to prohibit food establishments, stores, and markets from issuing single-use plastics, and task manufacturers to control the circulation and disposal of these materials. It also encourages consumers to instead use reusable or other alternative materials.
The Philippines has been listed in a 2015 report as one of the biggest sources of plastic leaking into the oceans, after China and Indonesia.
A recent study by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) revealed that Filipinos use more than 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily.
The organization extrapolated the data to calculate daily and yearly plastic usage throughout the country in order to provide new quantitative evidence about plastic pollution in the Philippines.
GAIA said that findings in the report show how cities and municipalities in the Philippines are struggling against plastic residuals despite efforts of many localities to institute Zero Waste programs.
With the projected increase in plastic production worldwide, including in the Philippines, the group said that national governments, as well as local government authorities need robust data and effective strategies to address the looming plastic pollution crisis.
It also called on manufacturers to regulate, and stop producing, single-use plastics.
“We would appreciate kung ang Pangulo will tell Congress na iprioritize nga itong bill on single-use plastic,” Beau Baconguis, an Asia Pacific Plastics Campaigner of GAIA said.
“Dapat hindi lang tignan as a waste disposal issue at waste management issue pero titingnan ang buong life cycle ng plastic at buong problemang kaakibat ng different stages ng production ng plastic,” Baconguis added.
The House of Representatives, for its part, assured it will continue to conduct inquiries on proposals to ban the use of plastics in the country.
“There will be a hearing before the committee level, all the stakeholders shall be heard, and ultimately we shall decide the course,” Cavite Fourth District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, said.
“The decision of the President will carry much weight in so far as the action of the House of representatives is concerned,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday sent a memorandum to Malacañang stating her acceptance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to become co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).
Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez posted a photo of the memorandum on his Twitter account with the caption, “Handa na ba kayo para sa akin?”
The vice president on Wednesday said she has accepted the designation in hopes of stopping the killing of innocent lives under the administration’s anti-drug war.
Duterte made the offer following Robredo’s call to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs, which she said was “not working.”
She later clarified that she meant to urge the administration to assess its campaign.
In a briefing with Malacanang Press Corps, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo is welcome to attend the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday.
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