Philippine Ambassador-designate to the State of Israel Macairog S. Alberto called on Chief of State Protocol Gil Haskel on 13 January 2021 to present the open copies of his letter of credence. Ambassador Haskel warmly welcomed the new ambassador-designate, and expressed his hope that they could continue the close cooperation that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has always enjoyed with Philippine envoys to Israel.
Ambassador-designate Alberto affirmed his commitment to deepening relations between the Philippines and Israel, starting with a discussion on national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared that he was deeply impressed by Israel’s rapid and efficient rollout of the vaccine on a national scale, and hoped to engage with local counterparts on how this was done.
The protocol chief and Ambassador-designate Alberto also discussed the Philippines and Israel’s ongoing cooperation through Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), currently being implemented through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) participation in the 11-month agriculture training program administered by GRANOT Agrostudies. Ambassador-designate Alberto informed Ambassador Haskel that a total of 341 participants had recently arrived in Israel, and will be starting their orientation and training as soon as they complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Ambassador-designate Alberto also met with Ms. Stella Rapp, the MFA’s Deputy Director General for Consular Affairs, to discuss the status of implementation of bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and Israel on home-based caregivers and hotel workers. Both sides agreed to continue their coordination regarding this matter, which is intended to strengthen protections provided to Filipinos deployed to work in Israel.
The Philippine ambassador-designate arrived in Israel to assume his post on 17 December 2020.