By Roy Mabasa
Around 1,000 job openings will be made available to Filipinos who wish to work in Israel following the signing of a new labor agreement between Manila and Tel Aviv.
The agreement, signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Israeli Tourism Secretary Yariv Levin on Tuesday, will allow Filipinos to work as cleaners in various Israeli hotels.
Philippine Ambassador to Tel Aviv Neal Imperial said the latest labor pact came three months after an agreement on the temporary employment of home-based Filipino caregivers was signed between the two countries during the historic visit of President Duterte in September.
In his visit, Duterte thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for hosting an estimated 28,000 Filipinos who are currently working in Israel.
“They have been very happy working here, taking care of the aging population of yours…citizens,” the President said.
Duterte was the first sitting Philippine president to visit Israel since full diplomatic relations were established in February 1958.
Aside from the increasing number of Filipino workers, the Israeli government has also acknowledged a 25 percent spike in the number of Filipino tourists visiting the Holy Land for the first 11 months of 2018.
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) described the growth in Filipino tourists arrivals for 2018 as by far the “best year for Israel tourism in the Philippines and worldwide.