Philippines 16th among countries where Britons most likely to seek consular aid

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The Philippines ranked 16 in the list of countries where British nationals are most likely to seek consular assistance because of detention, drug arrest, hospitalization and death, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a report.

The British Behavior Abroad Report, whose data was collated from April 1 last year to March 31 this year, said the British Embassy in Manila has processed 272 cases of British nationals seeking assistance for various reasons.

From 2011 to 2012, only 240 Britons sought consular and embassy assistance.

During the 2012-2013 period, seven Britons were arrested for drug-related offenses, compared to two cases the previous year. Arrests and detention totalled 27 compared to 29 a year ago.


The report said 94 British citizens died while in the Philippines during the same period while 89 died from 2011 to 2012.

Thirty-four Britons were hospitalized in 2012-2013 and 25 in 2011.

There is only a single rape case that involved a British national while none were recorded the previous period. As for sexual assault charges, two were reported this period while none sought consulate assistance in 2011-2012.

Other kinds of assistance sought totaled 114 compared to 106 the previous period. The figures were based on the total number of British visitors to the Philippines during the period, which reached 113,282, and some 15,000 British residents.

“Proportionally, Brits are most likely to be hospitalized in Thailand [285 cases] followed by the Philippines,” the report said as the FCO reiterated the need for British nationals to check the health conditions of the countries they will be visiting.

It also advised their nationals to take personal medication with them provided they are legal in the countries they are visiting. Also, a travel insurance is advised, so they can be reimbursed with any health-related fees they may incur during the trip.

“As a proportion, Brits are significantly more likely to die in the Philippines than in any other country–there are large numbers of elderly British expats who live in the Philippines, which accounts for most of the hospitalization or death cases–relatively few tourists die or are hospitalized,” the FCO said.

They reminded Britons to make sure their insurances can provide services for the repatriation of remains in case of death since bringing home a body to the United Kingdom can cost thousands of dollars.

The top five countries where British nationals require assistance were Spain, the United States, France, Thailand and Greece. Some 1,599 Britons sought assistance in Spain and 1,120 in the United States.

Drug arrests are highest in the United States with 159 cases, while rape cases are most prevalent in Spain with 31.

BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

 

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