Philippines and Israel Push for Early Conclusion of a Bilateral Labor Agreement for Caregivers

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Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Silvan Shalom
with Ambassador Neal Imperial
 

23 July 2015, Tel Aviv, State of Israel – During their first meeting in Tel Aviv on 21 July 2015, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Silvan Shalom and Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel G. Imperial agreed to push for the early approval of a bilateral labor agreement for Filipino workers in Israel.

Israel is host to about 20,000 Filipino caregivers who enjoy excellent labor conditions - perhaps the best labor conditions for OFWs in the Middle East region. The Ambassador noted the decline in the number of Filipino workers in Israel, adding that one possible reason could be the exorbitant "mediation fees" being charged by private recruitment agencies for Filipino caregivers coming to work in Israel. The Deputy Prime Minister agreed that this practice is unfair for the workers.

The two officials also agreed that this issue could be addressed through a Bilateral Labor Agreement (BLA), which both the Philippine and Israeli sides are keen to sign at the earliest possible time. Implementation of Israel's BLAs with other countries has led to a significant reduction in the recruitment fees being charged to foreign workers in Israel. Minister Shalom and Ambassador Imperial expressed support for the early resumption of negotiations on a BLA between the Philippines and Israel to boost the competitiveness of Filipino caregivers in Israel.--END--