ZAMBOANGA CITY — Some 58 rescued friends in Zamboanga del Sur learned about the programs and services of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 during the 3-day Sustainable Development Program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority last May, 4, 2021 at Lison Valley, Pagadian City.

Rescued friend is a term used to describe rebel returnees or those who opted to return to the fold of the government for integration into mainstream society.

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe emphasized in an interview that the activity is in line with the government’s efforts for a whole of nation approach as outlined in Executive Order 70. establishing a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“National government agencies and the private sector converge to help communities that need assistance and social development through the provision of programs and services,”Dir. Buenafe added.

Miraflor J. Casanes, OIC Head of the DOLE Zamboanga del Sur Field Office highlighted during her presentation that the DOLE is supportive of President Duterte’s call to reach out to vulnerable communities with families living below the poverty line.

Aside from rescued friends, attendees to the activity were mostly farmers, victims of armed conflict who signified intention to avail of livelihood assistance, emergency employment and employment facilitation among others.

Ms. Casanes shared that they only need to comply with necessary requirements for submission to the DOLE office and will be assisted every step of the way. END/Karen Grafia with a report from Michael Vincent Macrohon, LEO-III, DOLE ZDSFO