8 deals with Jordan, Israel to be signed on Duterte’s visit

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The Philippines is scheduled to sign at least eight agreements with Israel and Jordan when President Rodrigo R. Duterte visits both countries from September 2 to 8, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said Thursday.

In a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang, DFA Undersecretary Ernesto Abella described Duterte’s visits to Israel and Jordan as “historic” since it will be the first by a sitting Philippine president to both countries.

Duterte will be visiting Israel and Jordan upon the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, respectively. He will be in Israel from Sept. 2 to 5 and in Jordan from Sept. 6 to 8.

Abella said both visits will be a huge leap in the Philippines’ bilateral partnerships with both countries after decades of diplomatic relations.

“Strengthening ties with these nations will promote economic growth, create new employment opportunities and enhance security,” Abella said.

“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 added.

The following agreements are expected to be signed between the Philippines and Israel:

• Labor: Memorandum of agreement on the employment of Filipino caregivers
• Science: Memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation
• Investment: Memorandum of understanding between the Board of Investments and Invest in Israel — a one-stop shop for potential investors

In the future, Abella said the government expects improvements in deployment procedures and the elimination of excessive placement fees imposed on Filipino workers bound for Israel.

He said the government also expects progress resulting from cooperation in the areas of science and agriculture, enhanced two-way trade and investments.

The following agreements are expected to be signed between the Philippines and Jordan:

• Labor: Memorandum on the employment of domestic workers and also a memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation to improve working conditions of Filipino domestic workers in Jordan.
• Defense: Memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation to upgrade the country’s defense capabilities.
• Foreign affairs: Political consultations
• Trade and investment: Investment agreement with Jordan Investment Commission and expect enhancement of two-way trade and investments.
• A mutual recognition of Standard of Training and Certification of Watchkeepers (STCW) for Seafarers

Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1046424