By:  Lilian Mellejor –  September 5, 2018 | PNA é

JERUSALEM, Israel–As the four-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel draws to a close, the two countries sealed 22 business agreements worth USD84.9 million or PHP4.55 billion.

The business deals are estimated to generate some 790 jobs in the Philippines.

Of the 22 agreements three were Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), 11 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and eight Letters of Intent.

The three MoA were entered between Century Properties Inc. and Globe Invest Ltd. for a joint venture agreement for advanced energy optimization management, advanced agriculture and urban farming, prefabricated housing, water desalination, and, other master-planned real estate development projects.

The second MOA was a cooperation on the marketing and promotion of tactical vehicles, including technology transfer between the Stone of David Corporation and Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd.

The Stone of David also entered an agreement with MCTECH RF Technologies Ltd for the cooperation in the development of military and intelligence products and hardware.

Some of the agreements were security-related such as the transfer of know-how and technology agreement by EMTAN to Armscor for the latter to create a local weapons manufacturing facility in the Philippines under the license of EMTAN; explore a mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration on security, intelligence data mining and information technology; cooperation to develop cybersecurity-related certification courses in the Philippines; and, exploring opportunities in the manufacturing and refurbishment of small arms and ammunition.

Other MoUs and LOIs were on trading, agriculture and environment-related projects, tourism and shipping such as the collaboration to provide additional ships/vessels to service the country’s local and international shipping requirements.

An Israeli firm also expressed intent to increase operations in the Philippines by building a state-of-the-art Medical Center within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone to service the medical needs of the locators of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation -Go Negosyo and Israel-Philippines Chamber of Commerce/Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines also entered a deal to establish a partnership to jointly develop and undertake programs, projects and advocacy initiatives related to the Mentor Me Program.

During the signing of the agreements at the King David Hotel here, President Duterte committed a shorter and simpler business process to ensure a corruption-free business environment in the Philippines and better ease of doing business.

“I want it really to be graft-free,” he said as he assured he will not tolerate corruption in his government.

Duterte even urged Israeli businessmen who wanted to do business in the Philippines to immediately report officials and agencies milking and extorting for under the table transactions.

“Just remember the official with whom you are transacting. You name him, I will call him and in front of you, slap him,” Duterte said. (Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)