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.