Safety and Security: Philippines


The Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, advice travellers to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in the Philippines. The following is a summary of things Smart Traveller has asked that travelers look out for:

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines due to the high threat of a terrorist attack and the high level of crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks. Seek specific advice for the locations you intend to visit.
  • On 28 November 2016, an improvised explosive device was found near the US Embassy in Manila. The device was made safe by police. Remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • On 3 November 2016, the US Government warned that terrorists are planning to conduct kidnappings in areas frequented by foreigners on the southern part of Cebu Island.
  • There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks and violent crime in the Philippines, including in Manila, other major cities and many rural areas.  Exercise particular caution around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to eastern Mindanao due to the very high levels of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping.
  • We advise you not to travel to central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu Archipelago and in the southern Sulu Sea area, due to the very high threat of kidnapping, terrorist attack, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups. There is a very high threat of kidnapping in the southern Philippines, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations.
  • Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor.
  • Police and other authorities have released strong statements regarding the trafficking and use of drugs in the Philippines.
  • There is ongoing transmission of Zika virus in the Philippines. All travelers should protect themselves from mosquito bites. Adopt additional measures advised by the Australian Department of Health.
  • Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

For more travel safety and security information visit the Australian Government’s ‘Smartraveller’ website.

Smartraveller [ONLINE],, 30 November 16
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