Duterte thanks Israel for good treatment to Filipinos
President Rodrigo Duterte has thanked Israel for the good treatment to the 28,000 Filipinos workers there.
In a speech before the Filipino audience in Jerusalem, Duterte even jokingly said that he could send all Filipinos to the Middle Eastern country.
"First is I would like to thank Israel for inviting me to visit the Holy Land. Second is I would also like to say thank you for hosting so many of my countrymen in the State of Israel and that...I have yet to hear any - any problem from any Filipino here," he said.
He said unlike any another country in the Middle East, which he refused to name, the Philippine government had to negotiate an agreement for the better treatment of Filipino workers.
Duterte was apparently referring to Kuwait, which agreed to sign a labor agreement for household workers to prevent abuses by their employers.
"Well anyway I would like to say with gratitude to Israel for inviting me and for being good to my countrymen," Duterte said.
"If it (is) not really a wrong proposal, pardon me, but if Israel would want, I will send all the Filipinos here because life here is much better," he added in jest.
A labor agreement regarding Filipino caregivers is set to be signed between the Philippines and Israel.
Duterte is the first Philippine president to visit Israel since the diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1957. Celerina Monte/DMS