MANILA - Israel will officially open its hotel sector to Filipino workers, Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss said Thursday.
In an interview with reporters, the envoy said the first batch of the 500 Filipino tourism workers will fly to Israel next week under a labor agreement between the two nations.
"Actually, it is the first time that Israel is opening the hotel industry to foreign labor. The foreign labor is very regulated," he said.
"For the hotel sector, until now, there were no foreign workers, now it's opening for Filipinos and Jordan," he added.
Fluss said around 500 Filipino hotel workers were hired for the initial phase, but the total quota for the Philippines is 2,000. The hiring, however, would depend on the demand for hospitality-related jobs in the country.
"We have to monitor the needs of the industry, I remind you Israel is not such a big country," he said.
Fluss clarified that the workers are hired directly by the hotels and the two governments merely serve as facilitators to process the papers.
"We're not choosing, at the end of the day it is according to the needs of the hotels. And it's done in partnership with the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) because we have a government-to-government arrangement," he told reporters.
Under the same labor agreement, signed during the 2018 visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Jerusalem, the two governments also facilitate the hiring of Filipino caregivers to Israel.
At present, there are around 30,000 Filipinos employed as caregivers there, said Fluss.
"We have specific sectors that are open for specific nationals. Agriculture is Thai workers. Healthcare used to be only for Filipinos, now it's open for Moldova, Sri Lanka, and Nepal for old age homes and institutions," he said. (PNA)