Duterte praises Israel for humane treatment of OFWs
JERUSALEM — The condition of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Israel are “far better” compared to other Middle Eastern countries, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday, ahead of the signing of a labor agreement for caregivers between the Philippines and Israel.
“You are far better luckier and more happy here,” Duterte told 1,400 OFWs during a speech at the Ramada Hotel here.
“I have yet to hear any problem from Filipinos working here,” he added.
The President thanked Israel for its humane treatment to OFWs and said that Israel was one of the most beautiful places an individual could visit where Filipinos were treated well.
He even joked of bringing the entire Filipino population in the Middle Eastern country where the quality of life is way better.
“Kaya if ‘di naman minasama… pardon me, but if Israel would want, ipadala ko lahat ng Pilipino dito kasi mas maganda ang buhay dito,” Duterte said.
During the President’s visit here, the Philippines and Israel, who established diplomatic relations in 1957, would sign a bilateral labor agreement for caregivers.
The Philippine Embassy here said Israel is home to 29,000 OFWs, 24,000 of which are caregivers.
“We expect a bilateral labor agreement to be signed for caregivers. This hopefully will ensure that the exploitative placement fees that are being charged to our workers would be substantially reduced, if not, eliminated,” Nathaniel Imperial, Philippine Ambassador to Israel said.
“It will be a government to government agreement. So private recruitment agencies will no longer be involved in the recruitment process. So that’s one,” Imperial added.
The Middle East is home to a large population of Filipino workers who send their earnings back home, making them one the strong pillars of the country’s economy.
However, persistent reports of abuses to OFWs, particularly against domestic helpers, have also been recorded in the region. /cbb, je
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