Filipino caregivers and students get free vaccine in Israel

I am a Christian and I strongly believe in the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and Israel. This past February, Israel opened an honorary consulate in Davao City. Most recently there was a relevant news report that got published about the Philippines and Israel that I really loved reading.

The other day, the Israel Embassy in Manila announced that thousands of Filipino caregivers, students and diplomats availed of free COVID-19 vaccines in Israel. Below is an excerpt from the news report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA)

The free inoculation is part of the Israeli government’s vaccination drive to immunize all residents in the country, regardless of their citizenship status.

Around 5.2 million people have so far been administered with at least one dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Israel, 30,000 of whom are Filipino caregivers and 400 are exchange students.

Filipinos with expired working permits as well as the staff of the Philippine Embassy in Israel also received the free Pfizer shots.

Israel Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said this free access to vaccines is another way of expressing Israel’s gratitude to the overseas Filipino workers, particularly caregivers working in their country.

A Filipino getting vaccinated in Israel. (source – Israel in the Philippines Facebook page)

“Israel is thankful for the Filipino caregivers for helping the elderly and the disabled Israeli citizens during the Covid-19 outbreak. For many years, the Israeli government has been providing the Filipino caregivers with full access to the advanced medical services of our country,” he said.

Harpaz added that Israel has been taking “good care” of the Filipino caregivers while citing a 2018 agreement signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel.

Israel in recent months has also supported the Philippine government in its pandemic response by donating personal protective equipment to the front-liners of the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police, and equipment to assist the Department of Education in implementing distance learning.

To put things in perspective, the ties of the Philippines and Israel go a long way back. Many decades ago, then President Manuel Quezon (head of the Philippine Commonwealth Government) offered save haven to Jewish refugees who fled the Nazi regime. This act was never forgotten by the Israeli people. In 1947, the Philippines voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 81 which created the State of Israel. Philippines-Israel ties progressed further by establishing full diplomatic relationships in 1957 and the following year, a treaty of friendship was signed.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Israel (Duterte is also the first Philippine President to visit there) which was groundbreaking. Watch the videos below…

In July 2019, I attended the Networking Night of the members of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) in Makati City. During that event, there were speeches delivered by Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad, the Embassy of Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov which gave me a clear view about the growing ties between the Philippines and Israel.

In ending this, praying for the Israelites and for the peace of Jerusalem is essential for all Christians. Here’s a video from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for you to watch.

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