The Department of National Defense (DND) lined up various activities in celebration of its 81st founding anniversary on Monday, Nov. 9, which will mainly be done online due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is expected to lead the flag-raising ceremony at the DND Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to kick-off the celebration which bears the theme “DND @ 81: Nagtatanggol at Kumakalinga sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”
It will be attended by select ranking officials from DND and its bureaus including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Government Arsenal (GA), National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
A thanksgiving mass will follow, which will be held at the DND Building.
Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said only 10 persons will be allowed to physically attend the activities in adherence to the health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Managing Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
“However, it will be streamed online on the official Facebook page of the DND for all individuals who would like to join,” Andolong said.
Meanwhile, a virtual forum which aims to promote a common understanding of the country’s claims in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) will also be conducted by Defense officials and guest experts.
The two-part forum entitled “Continuity in the Evolving New Normal: The Philippines’ National Security Challenges in the South China Sea” will be held on Monday (November 9) and Tuesday (November 10).
Another webinar will also be held to discuss the role of the Defense department in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), particularly its role in the Peace, Law Enforcement, and Development Support (PLEDS) cluster and in the provision of the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), and Amnesty Program for insurgents who surrender to government authorities.
Dubbed as “Talakayang Pangkapayapaan: An online forum on the DND’s role in the NTF-ELCAC,” the webinar will be held on Thursday (November 12).
A virtual awarding ceremony will be heled on Friday (Nov. 13) to fete recognitions to outstanding DND employees across various categories and bureaus. The ceremony will be streamed through the DND’s Facebook page.
The DND commemorates its founding anniversary every November pursuant to Commowealth Act No. 1 or the National Defense Act of 1935, which was signed by then President Manuel Quezon and enacted on November 1, 1935.