Israel vows to address concerns on Filipino caregivers

Israel has given assurance to iron out with the Philippines some labor concerns related to Filipino domestic workers there as it reaffirmed its interest in hiring more caregivers from the country.

Israel's move came as the Philippine government has put on hold since October 2022 the deployment of Filipino caregivers there due to challenges in Israeli legislation and the Philippine regulations, Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said Tuesday.

Fluss did not cite which particular Israeli and Philippine laws and regulations conflicted with one another, but among concerns for Filipino caregivers he cited was the "basket of services," or the salary and benefit package, they ought to receive in Israel.

Unlike other Filipino workers in Israel, such as hotel workers who are hired by companies or institutions, Filipino caregivers are employed only by individuals.

But Fluss assured the Philippines that Israel is already working "internally" to settle the issues.

"The moment we finish the technical discussions, we can start [the resumption of deployment] immediately," Fluss said in an interview with reporters.

He added that the recent visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Eliyahu Cohen to Manila would put pressure on the teams working for the resumption of the deployment.

Israel expressed greater interest in Filipino workers due to cultural similarities and historical ties the two countries have.

Currently, there are about 30,000 Filipino caregivers in Israel, which make up about 40 percent of the total number of caregivers there, Fluss said.

"The caregivers in Israel are extremely happy and feel at home. And we take good care of them," Fluss said.