MANILA — Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-on said that because of the impressive skills, experience and work etiquette of Filipino workers, particularly caregivers, they would always be welcome in Israel.
Ambassador Bar-on pointed out that despite the ongoing conflict with Palestinian militants the number of Filipinos in Israel has increased since their government decided to give working visas for caregivers.
“They are welcome. The way these (Filipino) caregivers work, they really know how to do it,” said the Israeli Ambassador. The capability of Filipinos to speak English, make it’s easier to communicate between employer and employee, he said.
Filipinos living and working in Israel now number 41,000, they are mostly in the caregiving sector.
However Bar-on, emphasized that the relationship between Israel and the Philippines does not rest solely on manpower.
According to him, “The Philippines and Israel also have very good trade relations and knowledge exchange.” He also noted that there are more than 200 Filipinos are studying in Israel.
“It is knowledge, and you cannot measure it in money,” said Ambassador Bar-on.
The previous year, trade between the two countries has reached $200 million with Israel importing semiconductors and agricultural products from the Philippines.
Since 1948 the Philippines and Israel already enjoyed bilateral relations. Then President Manuel L. Quezon espoused a policy of “Open Doors” during World War II for Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust.
The Israeli Ambassador pointed out that the Philippines from 1936 to 1939 opened its doors to 10,000 Jews escaping Nazi Europe. Of the expected number only 1,200 made it.
The Israeli embassy said it is coming up with a project about the history related to the Holocaust. It will show the generosity of the Filipinos who gave the refugees an opportunity to start a new life in the Philippines.
Bar-on lastly said, “Part of wonderful history of the Philippines, we want to raise it to the knowledge of Filipinos today.”