Commodore Joel Sarsiban Garcia PCG, PhD, HD, Al-Haj is a graduate of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) and took up Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, major in Navigational Science. He is currently taking up Bachelor of Laws, Facultad De Derecho Civil, Royal & Pontifical at the University of Santo Tomas. He is a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and a Doctor of Humanities. He earned his Masters of Science Degree in Maritime Safety Administration (Msc. MSA) from the World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden; Master in Shipping and Business Management (MSBM), PMMA and is a licensed Master Mariner. Presently, he is the Officer-In-Charge of the Philippine Coast Guard.
In addition to his current position, he is the National Director of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) and Commander of the Coast Guard Education and Training Command (CGETC). He likewise commanded major units of the PCG. Among these are: Coast Guard Weapons, Communications, Electronics and Information System Command (CGWCEIS); Coast Guard District National Capital Region – Central Luzon (CGDNCR-CL); Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM); Coast Guard District Bicol and Port State Control Office, Coast Guard Station Manila. He was also entrusted with positions in the PCG such as Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel (CG-1), for vessel safety (CG-8), Marine Environmental Protection (CG-9); Flag Secretary for HPCG, Public Information Officer, student officer to Sweden, Training Officer, Course Director, and Admin/Logistics Officer for the Philippine Navy HQ Ready Force. He commanded three Coast Guard Search and Rescue Vessels which are the primary ship for operations of the Coast Guard namely: BRP Pampanga (SARV 003) where he earned the most coveted Command-At-Sea-Badge, BRP Kalinga (AE-89) and BRP Palawan (PG-64).
Commo Garcia had advance coast guard training on courses such as the Marine Environmental Protection in the Korean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) in Ansan, South Korea and Instructor Course on International Maritime Law Enforcement at the United States Coast Guard (USCG). He attended seminars abroad concerning safety of life at sea and protection of the marine environment in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, London, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Hongkong, and Norway.
Fully decorated, Commo Garcia has earned various awards and decorations from the PCG and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in recognition of his outstanding performances in the Coast Guard and Naval service.