The Philippine Coastguard (PCG), through Rear Admiral Joel Garcia, was unanimously voted as Chairman of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (RECAAP) Council during an election held in Singapore last 20 March 2018.

PCG’s Garcia bested among 20 delegates of RECAAP member states including China who came in second, and other superpowers in the Asia Pacific region such as USA, India, Japan, Korea, Brunei, etc.

“RADM Garcia presented the Philippines’ security plans and measures in Basilan-Sulu-Tawi Tawi (BASULTA) area such as the implementation of the security safety environmental numbering system, as well as other Maritime security circulars approved by Secretary Tugade. These measures instituted by DOTr and PCG are being greatly appreciated by the international shipping community,” said PCG Chief Rear Admiral Elson Hermogino.

Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said that PCG’s election as head of RECAAP just shows that other countries see the effectiveness of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s drive to uphold safety and security, which is reflected in the country’s relentless fight against terrorism.

“This just proves that the drive of President Duterte to promote safety and security in this nation is being felt even outside the country. Maging ibang bansa, ramdam ang pagbabago at pag-unlad ng Pilipinas,” Tugade said.

Tugade likewise stressed that Garcia’s role is of great importance to protect our maritime interest and promote stability in the region.

“Malaki ang papel na gagampanan ni ni Rear Admiral Garcia dahil kinakailangan niyang maitulak ang kooperasyon upang lalong mapaigting ang proteksyon at seguridad ng mga naglalayag sa karagatan,” Sec. Tugade said.

RECAAP holds a very important security bloc in the region with the West Philippine Sea that holds a quarter (1/4) of the world’s sea trade.

Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap is very pleased with the development as the RECAAP is the only International body who’s now headed by a Filipino.

RADM Joel Garcia or Hajji Muhammad Abdul Aziz Bin Yusuf is a licensed master mariner, who finished his Masters Degree in Shipping Business Management in Philippine Merchants Marine Academy (PMMA), and Masters of Science in Maritime Safety Administration in World Maritime University in Malmoe, Sweden.

📷 credits: Philippine Coast Guard

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