Bello in Israel to prepare pact on Overseas Filipino Workers’ protection
By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III went ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel to prepare a bilateral agreement for the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.
“Pupunta muna ako doon para ma-close namin yung bilateral agreement para pagdating doon ng Presidente makikipagpirmahan na lang siya (I will be there ahead of the President so we can forge a bilateral agreement (for our OFWs) so that once the President arrives, it is ready for signing),” Bello said in an interview with reporters before leaving for the host country on Sunday.
Asked on what would the contents of the bilateral agreement be, Bello said, “Usually, how to provide protection to our overseas workers doon (there).”
He, however, reported that OFWs, particularly household service workers (HSWs), are treated well there.
“Well treated. In fact, you know our household service workers are treated as caregivers. Hindi sila kailangan araw-araw nasa bahay ng employer (They do not have to report to the houses of their employers every day). That is why I am going ahead there,” the DOLE chief.
He added that they are looking to adopt as a template the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kuwait.
“In a way. Baka i-adopt namin as a template yung Kuwait MOU. Although hindi masyado…dahil sabi ko nga well-treated ang OFWs natin doon (We might adopt as a template the MOU with Kuwait. Though it may be not exactly the same as that because as I have said, our OFWs are well-treated there),” Bello explained.
Duterte is set to travel to Israel on Sept. 2 to 5 after accepting the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (PNA)