Israel PM Netanyahu Meets with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday (Monday, 3 September 2018), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and made the following remarks at the start of their meeting:

Attached photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)


"President Duterte, welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.

We mark that this is the first visit by a president of the Philippines in the history of Israel. It is deeply appreciated. We remember the exceptional role of the Philippines that received Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. We remember that the Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the establishment of the State of Israel in the UN resolution in 1947. Mr. President, we remember our friends. And that friendship has blossomed over the years, and especially over the last few years.

We’re going to sign here today three important agreements, in trade, in science and, no less important, in caregiving. 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. 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. This is money that is taken away from the caregivers and the families, the Israeli families who so want their service. This is an exceptional agreement and I think it heralds the kind of friendship that we are developing.

In that spirit Mr. President, I welcome you; welcome to Jerusalem."

Three bilateral agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Philippines President Duterte:

1) The Bilateral Agreement for the Temporary Employment of Filipino Home-Based Caregivers in Israel, which will completely cancel all fees paid to agents and will save thousands of shekels. The agreement will assist the elderly and those in need of caregiving in Israel and ill have positive repercussions on similar agreements with other countries in the future.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Secretary of Labor and Employment Silvestre Hernando Bello signed for Israel and the Philippines, respectively.

2) A Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation which will encourage and establish scientific cooperation programs between the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the Philippines Department of Science and Technology.

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano signed for Israel and the Philippines, respectively.

3) A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Encouraging Bilateral Investments between Invest in Israel of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry Foreign Investment and Industrial Cooperation Authority and Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Board of Investments.

Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez signed for Israel and the Philippines, respectively.

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