- We advise against all travel to central, southern and western Mindanao, and the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo, where there are ongoing military and police operations against insurgent groups. On 29 March 2006, an explosion on a passenger bus in Digos City, Mindanao injured at least 22 people. On 27 March 2006, an explosive device was detonated in Jolo Town killing nine people and injuring at least 20. You should take particular care and maintain high levels of vigilance when travelling to the rest of Mindanao, including Davao.
- There is a threat of kidnapping throughout the Philippines. We continue to believe that terrorists and criminal elements plan to kidnap foreign tourists from islands and coastal areas in the southern Philippines – ie Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. Kidnappings from other parts of the Philippines cannot be discounted. Boats travelling to and from offshore islands and dive sites are possible targets.
- There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines. In February 2005, bombs in Manila and Mindanao killed at least nine people and injured over 130 others. We believe that terrorist groups have the capacity to mount attacks at any time and anywhere in the Philippines. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets in public places, including those frequented by foreigners.
- A week long state of emergency declared by the President of the Philippines following the arrest of three people for an attempted coup was lifted on 3 March 2006. However, public protests remain likely. You should avoid political gatherings or demonstrations.
- You should also be alert to the risk of street crime.
- Penalties for illegal drug importation and use are severe and can include the death penalty.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.You should also be alert to the risk of street crime.