By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
The Philippines and the State of Israel on Monday, Sept. 3, signed bilateral agreements on labor, science, and trade, Malacañang said.
In a mobile message to reporters in Manila on Monday evening, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. confirmed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu witnessed the signing of the following bilateral agreements in Israel:
1). Memorandum of Agreement on the Temporary Employment of Filipino Home-Based Caregivers in Israel, signed by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Secretary of Labor and Employment Silvestre H. Bello III;
2). Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation, signed by Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano; and
3). 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 M. Lopez.
In his message, as posted on the official Web site of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Netanyahu said: “We’re going to sign here today three important agreements, on trade, on science and, no less important, on caregiving.”
The Prime Minister noted that “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.”
He added: “I am one of those families, Mr. President. My late father, who died at the age of 102, in his later years received incredible care by a caregiver from the Philippines, Lee, a woman of exceptional compassion and intelligence. She took care of my father’s every need. And when he passed away, she took care of his brother’s needs, until he passed away.”
“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,” Mr. Netanyahu also said.