By Emmanuel Solis and Mar Serrano
LEGAZPI CITY – Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz hailed the efforts of the city government in implementing its disaster risk reduction management program, and the people’s resiliency on disaster preparedness that have both resulted in zero-casualty during calamities.
After a courtesy call on Mayor Noel Rosal on Tuesday afternoon, Harpaz told the local media that Legazpi is one of the cities not only in the Philippines but in the entire world with a very effective program to save lives and properties in times of weather disturbance.
“Even long before, Legazpi City is already in the bucket list of Israel, to strengthen the tourism industry and agricultural sector of both the Holy Land and Legazpi,” the envoy said.
Harpaz added that the main reason for his visit is to establish a strong relationship between his country and this city. “Mayor Noel Rosal is always welcome to visit Israel in order for him to learn other best practices of Israel that can be implemented here in Legazpi City,” he said.
The ambassador likewise said that the 30,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Israel, many of whom are from Bicol region, “are protected by Israel Government and they receive good salaries”. Filipinos are welcome and they can stay for 90 days without visa requirement, he said.
Rosal said Harpaz is willing to assist the city on water, agriculture and tourism. “It was a fruitful meeting with the Israel ambassador and we have established a good relationship,” he said.
Harpaz and his wife Shulamit Harpaz are staying in this capital city of Albay province for three days. (PNA)