Commodore Ronald Joseph Mercado PN, a Cebuano native, has been named new naval chief for the Visayas region in Tuesday’s “change of command” ceremony (July 22) at the Naval Forces Central based in Lapu Lapu City. Mercado has replaced Commodore Reynaldo Yoma who will now head the Naval Forces Western Command in Zamboanga City. The new naval chief vows to focus more on humanitarian assistance and disaster response during the typhoon season to minimize, if not avoid, fatalities. The primary mandate of NAVFORCEN, according to Mercado, is to support the Central Command in maintaining security, peace and order as well as to help provide a good business and tourism environment in the Visayas. Mercado expects the men and women in NAVFORCEN to be more responsive during calamities. The new naval chief added that they will also continue to collaborate with civilian and military stakeholders “to ensure that the Philippine Navy’s presence in this part of the country will embody the honorable service, such as maritime security in the operational areas.

Source: Philippine Star