Labor, trade, defense deals to be signed during Duterte's trips to Israel, Jordan, says DFA
The Philippines is set to sign various cooperation agreements, such as on labor, trade and defense, with Israel and Jordan during President Rodrigo Duterte's visits in the two Middle Eastern countries next month, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Duterte will be undertaking the "historic visits" on September 2 to 8 to expand ties with Israel and Jordan upon the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II, respectively, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
The agreements to be signed between the Philippines and Israel include a memorandum of agreement on the employment of Filipino caregivers, memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation, and MOU between the Board of Investments and Invest in Israel, he said.
With some Arab countries not recognizing Israel, Abella, however, was quick to say that the Philippine renewal of its relations with Israel is "in pursuit of our 'friends to all, enemies to none' foreign policy'."
According to the DFA official, the coming trips to Israel and Jordan would be the first by a sitting Philippine president.
Asked if she will join her father, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said: "Yes I will join... on September 2-4 only. In Israel, I will do the same itinerary as the President."
In Jordan, the Philippines will forge an agreement on the employment of domestic workers and also a memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation, MOU on defense cooperation, political consultations, investment agreement with Jordan Investment Commission, and a mutual recognition of Standard of Training and Certification of Watchkeepers for Seafarers, Abella said.
"Strengthening ties with these nations will promote economic growth, create new employment opportunities and enhance security. A closer relationship with these nations means more opportunity to share expertise with each other in the fields of science, agriculture, industry and counter-terrorism," he said.
Duterte will also meet separately the business and Filipino communities in both countries.
There are an estimated 28,300 overseas Filipino workers in Israel and 40,000 in Jordan.
Abella said that Duterte will also be visiting "significant spots" in the two countries. Celerina Monte/DMS