Secretary of Foreign Affairs Confers Order of Sikatuna on Outgoing Israeli Ambassador

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28 July 2014, Manila - The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Albert F. Del Rosario, conferred upon outgoing Israeli Ambassador H.E. Menashe Bar-On the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Grand Cross, on behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino III on 28 July 2014.

The Order of Sikatuna is one of the three most senior honors bestowed by the Republic of the Philippines and is given to diplomats, officials or foreign nationals who made exceptional contributions to strengthening relations between their home countries and the Philippines.

The conferment of the Order of Sikatuna on Ambassador Bar-on reflects the Philippines' deep appreciation for his work in fostering Philippines – Israel relations during his tour of duty. Under his tenure, bilateral relations expanded in the fields of agricultural cooperation and disaster risk mitigation. Both countries also signed the Air Service Agreement which paves the way for direct flights between Israel and the Philippines. The agreement is expected to provide a significant boost to Philippines - Israel trade and tourism.

Ambassador Bar-On was also instrumental in bringing the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command Humanitarian Delegation to the Philippines during the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan). The Humanitarian Delegation set up a field hospital in Bogo, Cebu and treated 2,686 local residents, including 848 children, who were injured in the typhoon or suffered from other medical conditions. – END –