The Embassy of Israel in the Philippines opened its Honorary Consulate in Davao City, Mindanao on October 6.
The event was done virtually and highlighted the conferment of Israel’s Honorary Consul for Mindanao Jorge Marquez, which was facilitated by Ambassador Rafael Harpaz. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and the official unveiling of the plaque were also held in Davao City.
In his video message, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte marked the opening of the consulate as another significant landmark in the long history of the bilateral relations between Israel and the Philippines. Duterte mentioned that it will further cement the mutual trust, goodwill, and friendship between our countries and that the strong Israeli presence will contribute to Mindanao’s rise by opening new opportunities, investments, employment, and people-to-people exchanges.
Harpaz warmly congratulated Marquez on his appointment and believed that the opening of the consulate will deepen and widen bilateral relations between Israel-PH particularly in the economic, commercial, innovative, and tourist spheres.
Marquez accepted the assignment and said that it is a privilege to represent the nation of Israel and to assist in establishing harmonious relationships between the nations.
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. also congratulated the State of Israel and said that in the recent years, bilateral cooperation between our countries grew especially in defense, labor, agriculture, and tourism through the mutual visa-free agreement.
Sec. Locsin also said that in times of crisis, Israel has proven time and again to be a good friend and cited the assistance of the country during Typhoon Yolanda and the donations it has provided to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of National Defense, and the Department of Education in the middle of the pandemic.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in her keynote message that she accompanied President Duterte two years ago to Israel that paved stronger diplomatic relations. Mayor Sara said that the opening of the consulate will enhance the ties of Davoeños and Israelis even further.
Other video greetings were received from Mindanaoan senators Hon. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Hon. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and Hon. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
The presidents of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Yoray Ofek and Jewish Association of the Philippines Salito Malca also extended their warm congratulations for the opening of the consulate. Rabbi Eliyahu Azaria started the ceremony with his blessings.
A video presentation of Israel’s donation to the city’s Health Office was presented at the end of the event. Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation or Mashav, through Marquez, donated medical supplies and equipment to Bunawan District Lying-in, Malabog Birthing Home, and Toril Health Center in Davao City.