Tag Archives: refugees

Millions Of Manila Residents Seeking Refugee Status In The U.S., Europe

Filipinos lining up outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila
Filipinos lining up outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila

MANILA, Philippines  (The Adobo Chronicles) – In just the first few days of 2016, the embassies of the U.S. and other European countries in the Philippines have reported a sharp increase in applications for refugee status, mostly from Manila residents.

The increase came immediately after John Forbes, a senior adviser  of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, said that  “at the rate the traffic situation is getting worse, Metro Manila may become uninhabitable within four years.”

Many of the applicants saw the prediction as an easy ticket for them to secure visas or legal documents to live in the U.S, and European countries like Germany, Spain, France and the U.K. To this day, it is extremely difficult for Filipinos to secure even just a tourist visa, especially to the U.S.

Metro Manila’s traffic situation has reached a crisis point over the last decade, making life miserable for residents.

Most of the refugee status applicants have claimed ‘economic and social persecution’ as a result of Metro Manila’s mass transportation and traffic woes which would qualify them for refugee status under the United Nations Charter.



Filipino victims of Typhoon Yolanda (2013 file photo by Reuters)
Filipino victims of Typhoon Yolanda (2013 file photo by Reuters)

Tens of thousands of Filipinos displaced by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013 are clamoring to be re-classified as “refugees” so that they can find permanent homes and better living conditions in Europe and other countries that have opened their borders to Syrian refugees.

Yolanda slammed Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013, leaving more than 6,000 people dead.

Back in January this year, Vice President Jejomar Binay said that a total of 205,128 houses were needed for Yolanda victims in 116 cities and municipalities.  As of the end of 2014, a total of only 2,100 housing units have been completed.

Binay  was chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and head of the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster before his resignation from President NoyNoy Aquino’s cabinet in June this year.

The Aquino government had said that it is targeting to finish  the construction of  an additional 120,000 housing units by the end of this year.

That still leaves tens of thousands more who would need  roofs over their heads.

Feeling almost hopeless about their dire situation, the displaced typhoon victims have petitioned the United Nations to re-classify their status to “refugees,” saying that with the ineptitude of the Aquino government, their only hope is to find refuge elsewhere.

The governments of China, Australia, Canada and some countries within the European Union (EU) have reportedly expressed willingness to accept the Filipino “refugees.”

Ironically, the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced that the Philippines is ready to take in Syrian refugees in response to the humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the Philippines could be a temporary destination as refugees await acceptance from a host country for resettlement.