The Department of Health (DOH) is reconstituting the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to streamline its processes, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a media release, Malacañang said the IATF would be reconstituted to retain only member agencies with “relevant and intended” functions.

Pending the reconstitution, Department of Health (DOH) officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said IATF meetings and processes would also be streamlined with clear directives to assist in the safe reopening of the economy.

Vergeire said the DOH would utilize the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council platform as a replacement for the National Task Force Against Covid-19.

“This will allow the IATF health expert groups to continue their work as they serve as the voice of science in the country,” the release read.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s government is retaining the IATF until a new DOH secretary of health is appointed, the Palace earlier said.

The IATF was formed in 2014 by virtue of the late President Benigno Aquino III’s Executive Order No. 168.

The task force has been one of the main policymakers under the Duterte government amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos Jr. had yet to appoint his health chief as he was still evaluating candidates. John Ezekiel J. Hirro