President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice Admiral George Ursabia Jr as the 27th Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), replacing Admiral Joel Garcia who bowed out after 35 years of the Coast Guard service on June 1.
Ursabia started his military career in 1983 when he entered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and graduated as a member of “Hinirang” Class of 1987.
Later on, he pursued a Master of Science Degree in Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection (MSc, MSEP) as a scholar of Sasakawa Foundation, Japan, and eventually earned said post-graduate degree from the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden in 1999.
In his more than 36 years of active service, VADM Ursabia held various positions with major responsibilities, both in the Philippine Navy and the PCG.
Prior to his last designation, as the Commander of the PCG - Marine Environmental Protection Command, Ursabia became the Commander of Coast Guard Districts in Central Visayas, Palawan, Southeastern Mindanao, and Northern Luzon, as well as the Commander of the Coast Guard Ready Force and Staff for Maritime Safety Affairs.
As a seasoned mariner with seven years of sea experience, 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 (BFAR) 30-meter patrol boats.
“I know that Ursabia will continue the significant developments that as a leader at the helm, must geared upon for the greater benefits of the Command,” oitgoing Admiral Garcia stated.
Amid the country's fight for public health and safety against the threat of COVID-19, Ursabia acts as the Commander of the Task Group Laban COVID-19 Water Cluster - a joint effort of the PCG, Philippine Navy, and the PNP - Maritime Group.
He plays a crucial role in the deployment and operations of PCG personnel as part of the national government's efforts in ensuring the safety and security of the Filipino people amid COVID-19 pandemic.