Israel and the Philippines on February 26 marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship for the “perpetual peace and firm and lasting friendship” between the two countries.
In a statement, Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau said that the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines will hold a number of events in commemoration of the anniversary.
“We are mounting year-long special events—cultural and development cooperation programs, among them the donation of a desalination and water purification unit by Pass It Forward Foundation to the Philippine Red Cross,” he said.
Starting this September, Israel will increase the limit of Filipino student participants in their 11-month AgroStudies OJT program to 600.
The annual program invites students from 29 state universities and colleges to come to Israel to learn about advanced agricultural methods and take them back to their place of origin.
A Philippine-Israel Friendship Park will also be unveiled in Quezon Memorial Park in partnership with the Quezon City government, the President Elpidio Quirino Foundation, and the President Manuel Roxas Foundation.
It will honor Quirino’s open-door policy in 1937 that allowed 1,300 Jewish persons to find refuge in the Philippines and escape from the Holocaust.
Matityau added that they are also commemorating a year of jubilees between 2017 and 2018.
These include the 80th anniversary of President Manuel Quezon’s open-door policy; the 70th anniversary to the Philippines’ vote for the United Nations resolution that led to the creation of the State of Israel; and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel as a state.
The Treaty of Friendship was signed on February 26, 1958 by Philippine Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto Serrano and Israel’s Head of Mission Daniel Lewin.