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Philippines, Israel firm up three deals on labor, trade

The Philippines and Israel have signed three fundamental agreements on labor, science, and trade as a way of strengthening their bilateral ties.

They signed the deals even as Malacañang said Tuesday the Philippine government was scheduled to sign an agreement with the Israeli oil firm Ratio Petroleum Ltd. that would cover energy exploration in Palawan.

“We are expecting an agreement on exploration to be signed between the Philippines and a company in Israel, Ratio Petroleum Limited,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told reporters in Israel.

“It’s another foreign investor helping us to explore for energy in an effort to provide energy security.

In a speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the signing of the three bilateral agreements as he expressed gratitude to the historic visit of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We’re going to sign here today three important agreements in trade, in science and, no less important, in caregiving,” Netanyahu told Duterte, adding his father had received compassionate care from a Filipino caregiver.

“There has been a remarkable phenomenon in Israel where thousands and thousands of families have taken heart from the support given by Filipino care workers to the elderly. I am one of those families, Mr. President.

“I, like many, many Israeli families, am deeply moved by this show of humanity. And today we’re going to sign an agreement that will knock off as much as $12,000 from the cost of every caregiver.

“This is money that is taken away from the caregivers and the families, the Israeli families who so want their service. This is an exceptional agreement and I think it heralds the kind of friendship that we are developing.”

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed the Bilateral Agreement on the Temporary Employment of Filipino Home-Based Caregivers in Israel.

According to a statement posted online on the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, the labor agreement will completely cancel all fees paid to agents and save thousands of shekels.

Meanwhile, the Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation, signed by Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, will encourage and establish scientific cooperation programs between Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the country’s Department of Science and Technology.

Lastly, the Memorandum of Intent on the Collaboration on Promotion of Bilateral Direct Investments, signed by Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, encourages bilateral investments between the two countries. 

With the forged agreements, the Philippines expects a more suitable employment of Filipino caregivers in Israel, a further cooperation on the field of science and a progressive economy through investments. With PNA

Topics: Philippines , Israel , Ratio Petroleum Ltd. , Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque , Benjamin Netanyahu
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