MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday said it does not see any problem with the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19's move to transfer its functions to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

"Hindi naman magkakaroon mg malaking pagbabago kasi ang NDRRMC naman, ang mga members nun, ay members din ng NTF Covid-19. So ang mangyayari lang ay talagang magiging hands-on ang NDRRMC ngayon tungkol dito sa Covid-19 response (There will be no big changes because the NDRRMC is a member of NTF Covid-19 and its member agencies are also affiliated with NTF Covid-19. What will only happen is that the NDRRMC will take a more hands-on approach in Covid-19 response)," said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a Laging Handa briefing.

Andolong said both bodies are used to coordinating with each other, adding that the NDRRMC's takeover of the NTF Covid-19's functions will not affect its disaster response mandate.

"Sa tingin naman ng DND, kasi just like any calamity, ganun din naman ang pagtrato ng NDRRMC sa Covid-19. Ang kaibahan lang nito ay ongoing, tuloy-tuloy siya at nang nagsimula eto, ay nagiging, ika nga eh, 'new normal'. So ang mangyayari lang ay madagdagan ng isang contingency na kailangan i-handle ng NDRRMC (The DND thinks that the Covid-19 is just another calamity, that's how the NDRRMC will treat its Covid-19 role. The only difference is that this is ongoing and since it started, it is now referred as the "new normal", so what will only happen is that the NDRRMC just got another contingency to handle)," Andolong said.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, then DND Secretary and NDRRMC chairperson Delfin Lorenzana concurrently served as chair of the NTF-Covid-19.

Andolong also believes that this change is for the better as the government's disaster response efforts will be under one organization.

On Wednesday, the NTF Covid-19 announced that it will be passing its functions to the NDRRMC as part of government efforts to streamline pandemic response.

It added that all queries regarding NTF must be directed to the NDRRMC while questions about the vaccination program must be addressed to the Department of Health. (PNA)