Malacañang on Friday defended the designation of Cabinet members as overseers of local government units’ Covid-19 response.

“We understand the concerns of certain quarters to have health experts guide local government units (LGUs) in the execution of their plans,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

“We, however, have to stress that public health officers and health experts are one part of the whole-of-government approach,” he added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Resolution No. 62 designated Cabinet members to operationalize “the national government-enabled, local government-led and people-centered” Covid-19 response strategy of the country.

READ: Cabinet officials to assist in areas with rapid Covid-19 transmission rates

Roque said the assignments would help ensure close coordination between the national government and LGUs and to harmonize the policies being crafted by the IATF and the operational framework being implemented on the ground.

“We have to ensure that the operational aspect of the National Action Plan Against Covid-19 will be properly implemented down to the barangays,” he added.

New quarantine classifications will be announced on Aug. 17.

The country has recorded 153,660 Covid-19 cases as of Friday. John Ezekiel J. Hirro