PH set to seal labor pact with Israel

The government is conducting a review of the terms of a proposed bilateral labor agreement with Israel set to be sealed by the two countries.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III dispatched a top-level team of officials to Tel Aviv to meet with their counterparts and submit recommendations for the early conclusion of a Philippines-Israel Bilateral Labor Agreement.

In an administrative order, Bello instructed the team to clarify pending issues in forging a framework agreement and implementing protocols on the temporary employment of Filipino caregivers for the disabled and elderly in Israel.

He expressed optimism that the common goal of providing for the needs of their people will usher to the “adoption of harmonized positions on current differences” that delay the conclusion of the agreement.

The team is composed of Undersecretary Claro Arellano who is charge of Legal, Legislative, and International Affairs, Undersecretary Dominador Say of Employment and Policy Support, a ranking official of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and an official of the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

Also part of the team is an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The Philippines had proposed measures intended to save Filipino caregivers from paying excessive fees and provide them additional layer of protection from accredited private agencies.

The government is also pushing other provisions that will guarantee adherence to recruitment laws so as to ensure the rights and empower applicants and transferees.

Officials say the guarantees are workable in the proposed Philippines-Israel bilateral labor agreement.

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