National Security Adviser Eduardo Año (File photo)

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Tuesday said his predecessor in the agency Eduardo Año is more than qualified to become the country's National Security Adviser.

In a statement, Abalos said he has witnessed Año's efficient leadership as DILG chief during the Duterte administration.

"Noong ako ay chairman ng Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), naging saksi ako sa sipag at galing ni Año dahil kasama ko siya sa pakikipagdayalogo sa Metro Manila mayors sa paglutas sa mga suliraning kinakaharap ng mga local government units (LGUs) sa National Capital Region (When I was chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, I witnessed Año's hard work and skill because I was with him during dialogues with Metro Manila mayors in solving the problems faced by local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region)," Abalos said.

Abalos said he worked with Año in the development of strategies and ways to ensure the safety of Metro Manila residents under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

These include the implementation of health and safety protocols and the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination program in the region.

Abalos believes that Año will be able to fulfill his new role because of his extensive experience as chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and DILG Secretary.

Maaasahan ng ating bagong National Security Council (NSC) chief ang suporta at kooperasyon ng DILG at ng Philippine National Police kasama na ang mga LGU sa mga programa at polisiyang ipapatupad niya para sa pangkalahatang seguridad at kapayapaan ng bansa (Our new National Security Council (NSC) chief can count on the support and cooperation of the DILG and the Philippine National Police including the LGUs in the programs and policies that he will implement for the general security and peace of the country),” he added.

Año, 61, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983.

He replaced Dr. Clarita Carlos, who stepped down from the post to "continue her pursuit of scholastic endeavors" at the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives. (PNA)