The Philippines has shown keen interest in how the State of Israel successfully rolled out its “rapid and efficient” COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccination program on a nationwide scale where at least 20 percent of its population have already been inoculated.
Philippine Ambassador-designate to Israel Macairog Alberto made this gesture during his presentation of the open copies of his letter of credence to Chief of State Protocol Gil Gaskel at the Israel Foreign Ministry last week.
While discussing both countries’ responses to the pandemic, Macairog told Gaskel that he was deeply impressed by Israel’s nationwide rollout of the vaccine, even as he expressed his hope to engage with local counterparts on how the rapid and efficient program was done.
Israel kicked off with the vaccination of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines on December 19, 2020 initially for people over the age of 60, those with health problems, and medical workers.
During their interaction, the newly-designated Filipino envoy affirmed his commitment to deepening the relations between the Philippines and Israel, discussing further the two countries’ ongoing cooperation through Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).
MASHAV, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), is currently implementing an 11-month agriculture training program administered by GRANOT Agrostudies.
Alberto informed the Israeli official that a total of 341 Filipino participants had recently arrived in Israel, and will be starting their orientation and training as soon as they complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Alberto also met with Stella Rapp, the MFA’s Deputy Director-General for Consular Affairs, to discuss the status of implementation of bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and Israel on home-based caregivers and hotel workers. Both sides agreed to continue their coordination concerning the plight of Filipinos deployed to work in Israel.
Alberto arrived in Israel to assume his post on December 17, 2020.