President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrives at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on September 8, 2018 from his productive official visits to the State of Israel and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Accompanying the President is Secretary Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived at the Davao International Airport Saturday morning, September 8, from his official visits to the State of Israel and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, announcing the visits’ “crucial significance” particularly in enhancing trade and bilateral relations, security and defense, and increased protection of the welfare of Filipino workers, among others.

In his arrival statement, the Chief Executive reported that he is “pleased” to renew the Philippines’ friendship with two “important” countries.

President Duterte reported a fruitful four-day trip to the State of Israel, saying that both nations tackled broadening cooperation in a shared effort to combat terrorism and transnational crimes, enhance security and defense, intensify two-way trade and investment, as well as to improve people-to-people exchanges.

The two countries also tackled ways to improve technical cooperation, particularly in capacity and capability building.

President Duterte commended Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for having “recognized the strength and depth of our meaningful shared history and the common values that bind our nations and peoples.”

Meanwhile, in his visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Duterte reported a productive trip, saying that both countries discussed ways to expand further and improve cooperation on areas of mutual interests particularly in their efforts to counter terrorism and promote trade and investment, among others.

“In Jordan, I met His Majesty King Abdullah II. We identified areas for concrete collaboration to address terrorism and extreme violence,” said the President.

“Together with His Majesty’s Cabinet, we discussed ways to expand cooperation in two-way trade and investment, human resource development, interfaith dialogue and tourism, and other areas of governance,” he added.

Moreover, the rights and protection of Overseas Filipino Workers in Israel and Jordan were also discussed during the President’s official visits to the two countries.

“In Israel, the signing of the agreement on the employment of Filipino caregivers will help address the issue of exorbitant placement fees that cost our OFWs anywhere from eight to 12 thousand dollars,” said President Duterte.

“In Jordan, two labor agreements will enhance the standards of protection for Filipinos employed as household service workers and regulate labor deployment, exchanges, and communication and further studies on labor,” he added.

“Your government will continue to do its part to ensure that the rights of our nationals working abroad are protected, enhanced, and upheld,” he further said.

The President also said that his visits concluded government-to-government and business-to-business sector agreements where investments are valued at over US $140 million. The contracts are also expected to generate more than 1,200 employment for Filipinos.

The Chief Executive then expressed his gratitude to the Israeli and Jordanian governments for making his “historic” landmark visits possible.

“With these landmark visits, the Philippines continues to write a new chapter of enhanced bilateral partnerships based on mutual respect, sovereign equality, shared interests, and common values,” he said.

“We reaffirm the Philippines’ position in maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region and pursue our independent foreign policy. We are showing that the Philippines is, indeed, a friend to all and an enemy to no one,” he noted. ###PND

Balikbayan Media Center
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