Australia issues travel advisory on the Philippines

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack and the high level of serious crime.
  • Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • Terrorist attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in the Philippines, including in Manila. We continue to receive credible reports indicating terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets in a variety of locations, including places frequented by foreigners. You should avoid places known to be terrorist targets (see the Terrorism section below).
  • On 5 August 2010, a bomb exploded at Zamboanga City International Airport killing two and injuring a number of people, including a foreigner.
  • Violent crime is a significant problem in the Philippines. (see the Crime Section below).
  • There is a danger of kidnapping throughout the Philippines, particularly in the southern Philippines, including coastal and island tourist resorts and dive sites. Terrorists have kidnapped foreigners from these areas in the past. On 16 July 2010, a Japanese citizen was kidnapped on Pangutaran Island in the Sulu Archipelago. He remains in captivity.
  • On 23 November 2009, at least 57 people were abducted and killed in the province of Maguindanao on the island of Mindanao in what appears to have been a politically-motivated attack.
  • We strongly advise you not to travel to Mindanao, including mainland Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu Archipelago, due to the very high threat of terrorist attack, including kidnapping, and related counter-terrorism operations. Armed clashes between Philippine security forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front could occur without warning, including in central Mindanao. Attacks occurred in mid-2009 against military and civilian targets. Further attacks cannot be ruled out.
  • The typhoon season normally runs from late May to early December. This is also the rainy season when tropical storms, flooding and landslides may occur.
  • Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 has spread throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides useful information for individuals and travellers on its website. For further information and advice to Australians, including on possible quarantine measures overseas, see our travel bulletin on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
    • organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
    • register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
    • subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it’s reissued.
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