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Marawi victim, newest government intern of DOLE

Cebu City, Philippines. The five-month long armed conflict in Marawi, Lanao Del Sur wreaked havoc on Muslims and Christians alike, said Afisah, who is one of the many Muslims affected by the same siege.

She said she even saw their own house among many other structures aflame in the midst of the war. A war, which according her, gutted all that they had and shattered so many hearts into pieces.

Afisah Domato, 24 and a native of Marawi, opted to come to Cebu hoping to find solace and a bigger opportunity than the one she used to believe she could have back in her hometown before the evils of war destroyed everyone’s dream of having a good future.

“We have no reasons to go back there (Marawi). It’s sad but we have to go away from a place no matter how dear it is to us. My mother and the rest of my siblings evacuated to another place within the province of Lanao del Sur. As for me, I opted to come to Cebu,” she said.

She said that she always dreamt big. She even finished Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English in Jamiatul Philippine Al-Islamia in Marawi hoping to become a lawyer someday.

“Apart from becoming a lawyer, I also dreamed of becoming a public servant,” said Afisah, who recalled that she was also able to teach in a public school in Lanao del Sur for six (6) months.

In Cebu, she said, the feeling of being isolated has put a huge toll on her since she arrived in the city on January 2018. She said she always felt that she did not belong.

To occupy her days, she helped in a relative-owned restaurant located in Colon Street. She also managed to attend and finish a one-month training course on Computer-Based Proficiency courtesy of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

But she wanted more, she said.

Then the opportunity of becoming a Government Intern came.

“I learned it from my cousin that the Department of Labor and Employment has a program for those who wanted to render service as government interns. I tried my luck and here I am,” she mused.

Afisah is one of the new twelve (12) beneficiaries of the DOLE’s Government Internship Program (GIP), who mostly come from Marawi City.

A true-blooded Filipino-Muslim, she will be joining the Tri-City Field Office (DOLE-TCFO) to assist in the receipt and release of documents.

In the orientation conducted yesterday, DOLE-7 OIC-Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Roy L. Buenafe encouraged beneficiaries to give their best, withstand the challenges that they would meet along the way, and live by the Region’s credo of giving immediate actions to assigned tasks in observance of the Department’s Serbisyo, Now Na Initiative.

Buenafe explained that the recent development is an offshoot of the series of meetings conducted by the DOLE-7 with the Muslim-Filipino Communities, which highlighted the Department’s flagship programs and services that could be accessed and availed by Muslim-Filipinos residing in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and LapuLapu.

“I don’t want our Muslim brothers and sisters be isolated in a Christian-dominated community like here in Central Visayas. After all, we are all the same. We are one nation,” he added.

Under GIP, the interns will be working for DOLE for six (6) months while receiving an allowance or stipend equivalent to 75% of the existing minimum wage rate applicable in the area.

“Apart from the stipend, beneficiaries are also provided with accident insurance for one year with GSIS. Also, they will also be given Certificate of Completion upon completion of their internship period with us,” said DOLE-TCFO Head, Emmanuel Y. Ferrer.

Aspirants, added Ferrer, must be individuals who are 18-30 years old except in areas stricken by disaster or calamities whether natural or man-made where individuals 35 of age may be accommodated.

High school or Tec-Voc graduates, he said further, as well as those who have no work experience may also avail the program.

When asked about how she felt after being given the opportunity to work under the DOLE’s GIP, Afisah, on the brink of tears, exclaimed how overwhelmed she is for being considered for the internship.

“I never expected that there’s a place like here, that there’s DOLE that would accept us. I am very grateful. I promised to do my best and exert my best effort in the tasks assigned to me. This is definitely a dream job for me,” she finally quipped.


For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel Senarlo-Taniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at


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