Gov’t sees rise in PH workers’ deployment to Israel

MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is expecting an increase in the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), particularly caregivers, to Israel after the deployment cost has been lowered from as high as USD12,000 to only more than USD2,000.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the reduced amount was included in the bilateral agreement recently signed by the Philippines and Israel.

“Yes, we expect the increase in the deployment there. In addition to the fact that Israel is keen on getting our Filipino caregivers because they seem to prefer more Filipino caregivers over and above other nationalities,” Bello said in an interview last Thursday.

Before the agreement was signed, he added that the cost of deployment, which includes fare and health insurance, ranged from USD8,000 to USD12,000.

“With this agreement, it went down to a little over USD2,000. These are necessary expenses. Like for example, the worker would have to pay for his fare. That is more than USD1,000 for his or her health insurance,” the labor chief said.

Bello added that aside from the reduced cost of deployment, Filipino caregivers are entitled to receive a salary of USD1,350 to USD2,000.

Ngayon umaabot ng USD2,000 ang kanilang suweldo. Kaya makita mo yung mga caregiver doon, mga affluent ang labas nila. Hindi sila mukhang worker doon. Maganda ang katayuan nila doon (Now their salaries reach up to USD2,000. So if you see the caregivers there, they look affluent. They don’t look like workers there. Their condition there is good),” Bello added.

The deployment process is government-to-government, though the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Meanwhile, the host country is also set to sign another bilateral agreement with the Philippines on hiring hotel workers on November 4.

“The demand for hotel workers is big and it seems they are in a hurry because we just signed an agreement on caregivers and they want another one on hotel workers,” Bello added.