In my experience of the country I find it safer than London for example the figures quoted by the British Foreign office are :-
Around 70,000 British tourists visit the Philippines every year (Source: Philippines Ministry of Tourism). Most visits are trouble-free. 138 British nationals required consular assistance in the Philippines in the period 01 April 2008 – 31 March 2009 for the following types of incident: deaths (44 cases); hospitalisations (27 cases); and arrests, for a variety of offences (23 cases). During this period assistance was also requested with regard to lost or stolen passports (79 cases).
So my question would be does it seem so unsafe? but also what were the people doing and where. As I read a lot of the news articles and very few deaths are related to the “average” person. Normally it involves people being where they shouldn’t be or doing something they shouldn’t. A lot of the expat community scream “corruption” but in essence is it? I don’t think the majority of cases are the average person just going about day to day business. Its normally involving the sex industry or issues with an ex or business. So if you don’t fall into the 3 categories mentioned I would say its pretty much guaranteed no one will bother you as the justice system can be pretty harsh to say the least. If you compare the figures to Thailand :-
Around 812,000 British nationals visited Thailand in 2008 (Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand). 843 British nationals required consular assistance in Thailand in the period 01 April 2008 – 31 March 2009 for the following types of incident; deaths (288 cases); hospitalisations (198 cases); and arrests, for a variety of offences (202 cases). During this period assistance was also requested with regard to lost or stolen passports (774 cases). The majority of consular cases occur in Bangkok, Pattaya and Koh Samui.
The same could be said. If you watch “ Big trouble in tourist Thailand” you get an understanding of idiot mentality. They expect to be treated better because they are British not the fact they are acting illegally in a foreign country.
Taking, buying or using drugs is illegal and simply I wish they would stop letting Brits off for the crimes as its embarrassing! the stupid students that don’t think they will be caught by couriering drugs or whatever else they get upto should face the sentence in Thailand not appeal to the British nature for letting these people back to the UK. A hard stance has to be taken and we have no right to interfere in the countries laws just because we are “British”. Best advice for anyone thinking about drugs or sex tourism is it can all go horribly wrong and the it wont happen to me mentality is what gets most of the people in that mess in the first place. I’ve watched a few of the episodes from Big Trouble In Tourist Thailand and the majority of people bring it on themselves. Worth watching if your worrying about visiting Asia to get an understanding of why bad things happen to people but also if you think like I do that the majority of the people are stupid and an embarrassment to the UK then you probably wont have any problems yourself in Asia as most people in any Asian country are well aware of value of tourism and its affects on the local and national businesses. Its a lifeline to many people and for that reason they are more likely to look after you than rip you off or set you up for a fall. Corruption is still a problem but to be honest if you don’t invite the devil to your table you will no doubt not even cross him.