DAVAO CITY – More than two months after the tragic Roxas Night Market bombing incident, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI together with the Davao City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) and partner agencies conducted an interagency forum for the victims on November 25, 2016 at Pinnacle Hotel and Suites.

The activity aims to provide long term assistance to the bombing victims and their families through the different programs of the agency partners. Partners include the Department of Trade and Industry, Social Security System, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Higher Education, Department of Education, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Pag-Ibig, and the Davao City Agriculturist Office (CAO).

DOLE XI Technical Services and Support Division Chief Paul V. Cruz, in his message, shared that the Department were among the first agencies who immediately extended assistance days after the bombing. DOLE XI, said Chief Cruz, together with its partners through the forum will provide a more “sustainable” solution for the bombing victims and their families.

“We would like that our engagement shall be continued in as much as we would like our assistance to be comprehensive and sustainable,” he said.

Present during the event from the City Government of Davao include CSSDO Department Head Ma. Luisa T. Bermudo and Davao City Assistant Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo who read the message of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who was not able to make it to the event due to her health condition.

 “Nearly two months after the September 2 bombing that left 15 dead and dozens more injured, we have shown the world that Davao City and its people are strong. Business is bouncing back, tourism is once again picking up and the perpetrators have been captured. We cannot undo the damage that has been done and the lives that have been lost,” Mayor Duterte said in her message.

“I would like to thank all the National Government Agencies who will help us assist the bombing victims. Let us all stand against terrorism,” she added in a short video message played during the event.

During the event, the different agencies presented the feature of their different programs and how the beneficiaries can avail them. The DSWD and the CAO also gave away food packs and seed packs respectively for the participants.

For DOLE XI, the participants were oriented on the Government Internship Program, Special Education for the Employment of Students, Livelihood and the Emergency Employment program.

Salvador Nagan, one of the victim’s family member, in his message of response shared how thankful they are of this effort by the different agencies.

“Daghan salamat kaayo sa mga facilitators sa inyong mga gipresent, sa mga opportunities na among pwede ma-avail paagi ani. Thank you kaayo sa inyong time ug effort (Thank you to the facilitators for what you have presented, to the opportunities that we can avail through this. Thank you very much for your time and effort.”

About 120 participants joined the forum wherein 80 of them were families and the victims of the bombing. After the series of presentation of programs, the participants were given a chance to go one on one with the government agency personnel present for further assistance.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI