Press Release
June 4, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon sponsored on Wednesday Senate Resolution No. 436 that recognizes the significant contributions of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the country's fight against Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under the leadership of Admiral Joel S. Garcia who retired from service Monday.

In his sponsorship speech, Gordon expressed gratitude for the immeasurable role and heroic services of the members and officers of the PCG for risking their lives in the conduct of massive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of thousands of incoming overseas Filipino workers (OFW) done in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

"Without the Coast Guard, we would not be able to test many of our compatriots; some of whom came from Italy, Spain, England, and even Hong Kong and Macau, and these are highly dangerous territories due to COVID," said Gordon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PRC.

The PCG has been personally conducting the swabbing and collecting of specimen of repatriated OFWs and other returning Filipinos, as well as overseeing several isolation and quarantine facilities for COVID-19.

As of this writing, the PCG has swabbed 41,465 Filipinos. According to Gordon, its role was done successfully because of Garcia's leadership, hence, he deserves to be recognized by the State, as well.

"He (Garcia) retired with a bang, so to speak, in helping save many people in our country because he was providing the necessary leadership to make the operation a little bit more successful. This gentleman who is now a civilian has gone through the ranks, always being at the top of his class, and he was formerly in the Philippine Navy; he excelled there as well. And when he got into the Coast Guard, a lot of improvement were made," said Gordon.

Garcia is a native of Bago City, Negros Occidental. He graduated from Bago City Elementary School and finished high school at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. He was a full government scholar at the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) where he obtained a degree in Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation major in Navigational Science.

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