UNDERSECRETARY ERNESTO G. CAROLINA is presently the Administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO). Prior to his current position, he was appointed Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs, Presidential Assistant and designated Chairman of the Joint Defense Assessment Planning and Implementation Group (DA-PAIG) and subsequently as Undersecretary for Philippine Defense Reform (PDR).
In 2003, UNDERSECRETARY CAROLINA retired with the rank of Lieutenant General in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) after 37 years of military service. Among the many important posts he held are the following: Commander, 78th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (PA); Chief, AFP Liaison Office for Legislative Affairs and AFP Spokesman in concurrent capacity, Chief of Staff, 4th Infantry Division, PA; Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G1, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Comptrollership, G6, PA; Commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade, PA; Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations, J7, AFP; Commanding General of the 7th Infantry Division, PA; Commander, Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM), AFP; Commander, Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), AFP in Mindanao; and The Deputy Chief of Staff, AFP.
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1970, UNDERSECRETARY CAROLINA obtained a Masters Degree in Business Economics at the University of Asia & the Pacific and completed Masters of Science in Mathematics at the University of the Philippines as National Science Development Board (NSDB) scholar. He took up Planning, Programming & Budgeting Systems (PPBS) Course and the Military Comptrollership Course at the US Army School for Administration in Indiana, USA. In 1989, he was awarded the Certificate of Academic Excellence by the AFP Command and General Staff College (AFPCGSC) when he finished at the top of his class as an Outstanding Honor Graduate.
UNDERSECRETARY CAROLINA is a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he attended the Senior Executives Program in National and International Security (NIS). He also completed the Senior Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii, USA. He has also attended various special courses and seminars on Business and Management such as the International Banking Seminar at the Bank of Boston in Massachusetts, USA; Sales & Marketing Course by the Business Consultants International, USA; Comprehensive Banking Seminar by the Sycip Gorres & Velayo Company; Seminars on Portfolio Management and Agri-business by the Financial Executives, Inc; Investment Seminar and Trade-Finance Seminar by the Asian Institute of Banking; and the Seminar on Marketing & Finance by the Executive Development Academy. He also completed the Seminar on Legislative Structure and Procedures and the Policy Makers Workshop/Seminar conducted by the Presidential Management Staff, Office of the President.
In a distinguished military career spanning 37 years, UNDERSECRETARY CAROLINA received several awards which include the Philippine Legion of Honor, 9 Distinguished Service Star Medals, an Outstanding Achievement Medal, 4 Gawad sa Kaunlaran Medals, 4 Bronze Cross Medals, 11 Military Merit Medals, a Wounded Personnel Medal, 9 Military Commendation Medals, a Silver Wing Medal, 9 campaign medals and ribbons, 10 military badges, several Letters of Commendations and Command Plaques.
In 1999, he was nominated for the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award for outstanding public service. He was conferred the Outstanding Pasigueno Award in 2002, the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Philippine Military Academy in 2003 and the Cavalier Award for Public Administration from the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI) during the 2010 Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming. On the 75th Anniversary of the Department of National Defense in November 14, 2014, he was awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor in the Degree of Legionnaire by the President of the Philippines.