20 November 2019 - 23 Heshvan 5780 - כ"ג חשון ה' אלפים תש"פ

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with his wife, his daughter and a delegation of senior government officials and business leaders, made an historic trip to Israel from 2 to 5 September.

The visit was the first by a Philippine President since diplomatic ties were established between the two countries 61 years ago, in 1957.

The visit highlights the friendship between Filipinos and Israelis, which began when President Manuel L. Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines as a sanctuary to an estimated 1,300 Jewish refugees who were fleeing the Holocaust. The trip was also an opportunity for Philippine workers currently living in Israel to meet the President. Most of them are working in hospitals or are employed as carers for elderly Israelis.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with President Duterte on 3 September at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Duterte also met with Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel.

During the visit, three bilateral agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Duterte. The first was an agreement on “Temporary Employment of Filipino Home-Based Caregivers in Israel”, which will completely cancel all fees paid to agents and will have positive repercussions on similar agreements with other countries in the future. The second agreement was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on “Scientific Cooperation”, which will encourage and establish scientific co-operation programmes between the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the Philippines Department of Science and Technology. The third agreement was an MOU on “Cooperation in Encouraging Bilateral Investments” between Invest in Israel (part of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry’s Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation Authority) and the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments.

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