Philippine and Israel officials are pushing for the early approval of a bilateral labor agreement that will benefit more or less 20,000 Filipino caregivers in the Middle Eastern country.
A statement from the Philippine Embassy in Israel said Ambassador Nathaniel G. Imperial met with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Silvan Shalom on July 21 to discuss the possible agreement.
Among the topics discussed, according to the embassy, is the reduction of "mediation fees" by private recruitment agencies which is seen as th ereason for the decline in the number of Filipino workers in Israel.
"The Deputy Prime Minister agreed that this practice is unfair for the workers," the embassy said, referring to the collection of mediation fees by private recruitment firms.
The embassy said the two officials 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," the embassy said.
It added that Shalom and 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. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News