Signing of OFW pact to highlight Duterte’s Aug. state visit to Israel

DAVAO CITY – Israel is expected to sign with the Philippines a labor agreement on the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) there, one of the several business deals and bilateral agreements awaiting the first-ever state visit of President Duterte to Tele Aviv this month.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau told reporters here on Wednesday the labor deal would further improve the welfare of Filipino workers in his country, adding that Israel pays one of the highest wages for Filipino domestic helpers.

Matityau, however, did not elaborate on the details of the labor agreement.

Some 4.3 million Filipinos work in the Western Asian countries of Bahrain, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, the Philippine Statistics Authority said, and Israel is estimated to host as many as 50,000 Filipino workers.

Matityau said the other contracts, deals and agreements touched on a range of issues, from business, information technology and education, to investments, electronics and the environment.

Defense would also be one important issue that would be discussed by the leaders of the two nations, he said.

“Number wise, the contracts and deals are exciting, coming from this first ever visit by a President from the Philippines,” Matityau said.

Matityau visited this city to sign an agreement for an information technology-based education assistance to local public schools here.

The program dubbed as A Lighthouse Project, Israel would sponsor a group of as many as 15 teachers from a selected public school here to observe and learn the ICT-based teaching method of an Israel school for 14 days in November.

Teachers from the Mintal Comprehensive National High School, 15 kilometers west of downtown, were selected to become the trainors to visit Israel in November and to train more trainers when they come back to the Philippines.

Matityau said Israel has hosted as many as 6,000 Filipino graduates in various short-course fellowships and have contributed to the Philippines’ nation building “not necessarily on the course that they were sent to study in Israel, but mostly in other ways while returning to their old work”.

“This time, the Lighthouse concept would ensure that the trainers would practice what they learned in Israel,” he said.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio signed the MOA for Davao City.

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Manuel Cayon has written about Mindanao for several national newspapers for more than two decades, the most part of it on conflict-reporting, and on the political, insurgency and civil rights front. He also scribbles on the religious and human rights issues for the Thailand-based Catholic news agency as well as he strings for several wire agencies. His stint with then TODAY newspaper started his business reporting obtaining in Mindanao, continuing to this day with BusinessMirror. He received citations and awards, including two Biotechnology awards for reporting. He was a fellow of the US International Visitors’ Program Leadership in 2007 on conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution. He attended college at the Mindanao State University and the Ateneo de Davao University


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