PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has named Rear Admiral Adelius S. Bordado as the next chief of the country’s maritime defense, according to the presidential palace.

Mr. Bordado will be the next flag officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Tuesday.

Mr. Bordado, who will replace outgoing Navy head Giovanni Carlo J. Bacordo, will assume the position on June 9.

He had served as chief of naval staff, according to a report by the state news agency. He also headed the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) education, training and doctrine command.

The appointment of a new Navy head comes at a time when hundreds of Chinese vessels were recently spotted in different areas in the West Philippine Sea.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel urged the Defense department to study a proposal that seeks to restructure the AFP to boost the country’s maritime defense.

“Our armed forces primarily consist of land forces. While we still do have internal security threats on land, I think there is no harm in studying how we can better equip our maritime forces, especially since China is not leaving our waters,” she said in a statement.

Citing Clarita Carlos, a former National Defense College of the Philippines President, the minority senator said the country’s armed forces are “configured for a continental country rather than an archipelagic one.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza