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PHL, Israel sign deals on labor, science, investment

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The Philippines and Israel on Monday inked agreements on labor, science and investment as both countries seek to deepen ties.

Signed on behalf of the Philippines by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the memorandum of agreement on the temporary employment of home-based Filipino caregivers aims to reduce exorbitant placement fees being charged by recruitment agencies to caregivers who want to work in Israel, according to Malacañang.

Data from the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv show that 24,000 out of the 28,000 Filipinos in Israel are caregivers.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier praised Israel for its “far better” treatment of overseas Filipino workers compared to its neighbors in the Middle East where reports of abuse and maltreatment involving Filipino household service workers are most common.



Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez signed the memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation and memorandum of intent on the collaboration of bilateral direct investment, respectively, on behalf of the Philippine government.

Both President Duterte and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu witnessed the signing of the three agreements held at the Israeli premier's office in Jerusalem.

Duterte arrived in Israel early Monday morning, the first Philippine president to visit the Middle Eastern country since diplomatic relations were established in 1957.

Israel saw Duterte's four-day tour as a chance to thank Manila for taking in Jews during the Holocaust and backing the Israeli independence campaign that followed.

Duterte, meanwhile, viewed the visit as an opportunity to broaden cooperation on areas such as defense and security, law enforcement, economic development, trade and investments, and labor.

After Israel, Duterte will fly to Jordan for an official visit from September 5 to 8. His trip to Jordan is upon the invitation of King Abdullah II. — BM, GMA News

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