SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Monday met Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss in a courtesy call at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
Discussions focused on wide-ranging issues of mutual interest such as tourism, security cooperation, and the continued strengthening of the longstanding relationship between Israel and the Philippines.
During the meeting, Velasco relayed to Fluss the Philippines’ gratitude to Israel for its donation of medical supplies, testing kits and educational equipment in response to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.
The Speaker also expressed the country’s appreciation to Israel for vaccinating the Filipino community in the Middle Eastern nation.
It will be recalled that the Israeli government has distributed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for free to Filipinos in Israel. The government prioritized Filipino caregivers to ensure the safety of their Israeli employers and wards.
Velasco, meanwhile, said he was pleased that the bilateral cooperation in the area of defense has been ongoing despite the pandemic.
“The Philippines looks forward to further enhancing defense cooperation activities with Israel, including high-level exchanges,” Velasco said.
Joining the Speaker in welcoming the Israeli envoy to the House were Deputy Speakers Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas and Divine Grace Yu; Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Alfredo Garbin Jr.; Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability Chair Michael Aglipay; and Office of the Speaker Deputy Secretary General Atty. Jocelia Bighani Sipin. Ambassador Fluss was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Nir Balzam.
Fluss was the fifth foreign dignitary to pay a courtesy call to Speaker Velasco in six weeks.
Last October 25, Velasco received a virtual courtesy call from European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron during a videoconference.
On November 23, Velasco personally met Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho Wei Hong in a courtesy call at the Batasang Pambansa. Later in the day, the Speaker also received a virtual courtesy call from Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines Peter James MacArthur via Zoom.
Last week, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires Heather Catherine Variava of the United States Embassy in Manila paid a courtesy visit to Velasco. #