The Church is now fearing possible damage to the trust the Spanish government had given it in allowing Filipinos to enter its borders...
If they do not return, one consequence is that it might hurt the local Church’s relations with the Spanish embassy in Manila, [Fr. Conegondo Garganta, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Youth] said. “It would be our image that would be damaged,” he added.
During the World Youth Day celebrations held in Germany in 2005 and in Canada in 2002, some Filipino delegates did not return home.
Not surprisingly, Filipinos are generally considered by many governments of wealthy nations to be high-risk temporary visitors. Visa requirements for Filipinos wishing to travel to these countries are often difficult to meet or take a long time to process.
Indeed, officials of the Spanish embassy in Manila already anticipated the risks associated with this act of good faith...
[Garganta] said that even before releasing the delegates’ visas, the Spanish embassy had asked the commission how many it expected would not return.
“How many percent do you think will stay?” Garganta quoted embassy officials as saying.
“Ideally, we do not want to put a number because we promised that this is a Church event (but) based on past experience, one percent,” Garganta said.
Garganta said the embassy gave a bigger estimate.
Many Filipinos who are legitimate travelers have to suffer the inconvenience of draconian visa procedures as a result of their compatriots' long tradition of abuse of trust.