A delegation of Israeli officials to the Philippines is expected to give way to several business agreemeents that will help improve the economy including an agreement for cybersecurity cooperation.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman emeritus Francis Chua welcomed Israel Ambassador Rafael Harpaz and the other Israel Embassy officials to present several business proposals.
“We are looking forward to the deepening of ties with PCCI,” he said adding that the Chamber is organizing a sectoral business mission to Israel to build relations with Israeli companies.
Among the topics discussed was a cooperation on cybersecurity signed a few years back with an Israeli company. Israel has advanced expertise on cybersecurity and it is willing to share its technology to the Philippines.
Israel also made known its interest for oil exploration in Sulu as part of the defense and energy cooperation are also part of Israel’s link with the Philippines as well a solar panel project in Mindanao.
In 2011, Israel was able to tap the biggest offshore gas field in the country that will make the nation self-sufficient in natural gas by the end of 2019.
Harpaz also shared Israel’s initiatives with the Philippines such as development assistance in which 150 students go to Israel yearly to train in agri farming methods.
It will also issue 30,000 special permits to Filipino caregivers in recognition of their important role in providing assisted health care for their citizens.
Israel has also granted visa-free entry to Filipinos noting that a lot of Filipinos go to Israel for religious pilgrimage.
Other developments had that PAL will start thrice weekly direct flights to Israel in a few months to boost tourism to and from Israel.
Due to ingoing water crisis that affected milliona of customers in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Chua asked Israel for assistance in water management.
Harpaz cited desalination and recycling as part of a long-term solution to the water problem. Israel can bring water experts to the Philippines to work with the Environment Department in designing a water management strategy for the country.
The Chamber’s International Affairs Committee will review its cooperation agreements with Israeli to include specific provisions that will produce concrete results for both sides.