Travel Advice for the Philippines

Terrorism Threats

Terrorist attacks in the Philippines have taken place in public areas, such as shopping centres, places of worship, and airports.  Public transit has also been a focal point for terrorists. Attacks against civilians have occurred on buses, ferries, airplanes, and more.  Since November 2011, no less than ten terrorist bombings throughout the country have killed eight people. Some areas are more prone to terrorist attacks, and a travel warning has been issued for those areas of the Philippines.

Kidnapping Threats

The threat of kidnapping is real in the Philippines, with a special concern in the southern part of the nation. Foreign travellers are targeted in resort coastal areas as much as in urban and rural areas. Kidnapping victims are of all ages and backgrounds. Note that the British government considers payment of ransoms a catalyst for more kidnappings and has a long-standing policy of not making concessions to kidnappers.

Crime Threats

British nationals have been victims of recent violent crimes in the Philippines. Although it does not appear that criminals are specifically targeting travellers, robberies are a concern. To prevent becoming a crime victim, ensure to use taxis and drivers from reputable sources and do not flaunt cash or expensive jewellery. Furthermore, be on the lookout for strangers, who offer free drinks. These complimentary offerings may be laced with a sedative to knock out the unsuspecting victim. Armed robberies have also occurred on public transit services such as buses.

Natural Disaster Preparation

Be aware that an average of twenty typhoons strikes the Philippines every year. Typhoon season typical runs from June until November. The monsoon season that accompanies typhoons can create floods, which cripple areas of low elevation near the ocean. Numerous volcanoes dot the landscape in the Philippines, and can erupt without warning. The Philippines also lies atop an earthquake zone. Consulting your hotel concierge and local authorities will help is disaster preparedness.

Driving Precautions

If you plan on hiring holiday cars in the Philippines, you are going to want to take precautions. Driving in the country is not considered to be extremely safe. There is a lot of street crime and a number of robberies that occur. Make sure that you avoid displaying any valuables or cash. When leaving the vehicle unattended do not leave anything of value showing.

If choosing public transit, make sure to be especially careful as there have been a number of reported hijackings of buses as well.

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