Summary For Travel In The Philippines

  • There are confirmed cases of Swine Flu (H1N1)  in the Philippines.  You can check for updates on the number of cases and their locations through the World Health Organisation website. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised its Pandemic Threat Alert Phase to Level 6. The WHO website has further details. You should also monitor local media reports for any developments and advice. There is a dedicated Swine Flu page on this website. Guidance on Pandemic Flu can be obtained on the UK Department of Health website at
  • We advise against all travel to south west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of ongoing terrorist and insurgent activity. We advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao. There have been terrorist attacks against civilian targets in Mindanao: in the past two years these have included roads, buses and shopping malls. Since 10 August 2008 there have been clashes between insurgent groups and the Philippine Armed Forces in North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte provinces of Mindanao. There have been reports of civilian fatalities and thousands of people remain displaced. See the Terrorism and Local Travel sections of this advice for more details.
  • There are also ongoing clashes between the military and insurgent groups in the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo.  See the Terrorism and Local Travel sections of this advice for more details.
  • There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines.  On 13 November 2007, a bomb exploded at Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.  Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out these attacks at any time and anywhere in the country.  Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
  • The typhoon season in the Philippines normally runs from July to November however typhoons can affect the country at any time.  Over twenty tropical cyclones hitting the country each year. This is also the rainy season and flooding and landslides may occur.  Tropical depressions and cyclones typically bring strong winds and rain to the Visayas and Luzon regions, and particular care should be taken when travelling to Northern Luzon and the Bicol, Samar and Leyte regions. See the Natural Disasters section of this advice and Tropical Cyclones for more information.
  • Around 70,000 British tourists visit the Philippines every year (Source: Philippines Ministry of Tourism). Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incidents for which British nationals required consular assistance in the Philippines in 2007 were: replacing lost or stolen passports; arrests or detentions, mainly for visa overstays; and dealing with deaths, mostly from natural causes.
  • We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. In particular you should be aware that your insurance company may not extend cover to areas to which the FCO advises against travel. See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.

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