Travel Advice

Travel Advice

New Zealand Government advice for Philippines

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When travelling to Philippines, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Philippines.

There is extreme risk to your security throughout central and western Mindanao, including in the provinces of Sarangani, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (including the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi).  We advise against all travel to these areas.  The very high threat of terrorist activity, kidnapping and violent clashes between the military/police and terrorist or rebel groups makes travel to these areas extremely dangerous.

There is high risk to your security in the remaining provinces of Mindanao, and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these areas due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping and violent clashes between the military/police and terrorist or rebel groups.

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in the Philippines, including in Manila, due to the threat from terrorism, risk of kidnapping and violent crime and we advise caution.

There is a threat from terrorist activity throughout the Philippines. A number of terrorist attacks have been conducted in the past and a significant number of plots have been disrupted.  Explosive devices causing deaths and injuries have been detonated in public places in major cities in Mindanao and in the Sulu archipelago. 

We continue to receive reports that terrorists aspire to conduct attacks in the Philippines. The possibility of future attacks cannot be discounted, particularly in Mindanao, but attacks could occur anywhere and at any time. Possible targets could include public transport, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship.

Militant groups remain active in the Philippines and are involved in attacks, often on security forces. Armed clashes between security forces and rebel groups take place regularly, particularly in the southern provinces and the island of Mindanao. Clashes could occur with little notice, especially in the areas to which we advise against all travel.

New Zealanders in the Philippines are advised to be security conscious at all times and remain vigilant in public places – particularly at transport hubs and on public transport.

There is a risk of kidnapping throughout the Philippines. The risk is particularly high in central and western Mindanao and there is also a risk in coastal resort areas, offshore islands and dive sites in the Sulu Sea.

Kidnap-for-ransom gangs have in the past targeted foreigners, as well as Filipinos. In April 2014, two foreign nationals were kidnapped while sailing in the Sulu Sea.

Violent crime (including gun crime) and petty crime continue to be a serious concern in the Philippines. Criminal gangs are particularly active in Manila, including in the Makati central business district, and have drugged and robbed unsuspecting tourists.   New Zealanders are strongly advised to exercise a high degree of caution and pay close attention to personal security at all times when travelling anywhere in the Philippines.

We recommend particular vigilance if using public transport (including buses, jeepneys and the light rail system) due to security concerns. When taking taxis, it is advisable to use taxis called by hotel staff or alternatively from taxi ranks located outside malls rather than hailing one in the street. Hotel transportation is a good alternative.

Maritime Safety
Ferry accidents are not uncommon in the Philippines, especially when vessels sail in bad weather. Ferries are often not adequately maintained and have insufficient safety equipment.

We recommend that New Zealanders considering travel by ferry assure themselves of the vessel’s seaworthiness and safety equipment before travelling.

Natural Disasters
The Philippines is affected by a number of typhoons each year, with most occurring between June and December.  We recommend monitoring local media, the Philippines state weather agency and the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to stay informed.

There are a number of active volcanoes in the Philippines.  Filipino authorities have imposed permanent dangers zones around a number of these volcanoes.  For reports on volcanic or seismic activity, travellers should seek advice from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) .

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in the Philippines should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in the Philippines are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Street Address 23rd floor, BPI Buendia Center, 360 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati 1200, Manila, The Philippines Postal Address PO Box 3228 MCPO, Makati 1272, Manila, The Philippines Telephone +63 2 891 5358 Fax +63 2 891 5357 Email Web Site Hours Mon-Fri 0800-1630 hrs

See our regional advice for South East Asia

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Street Address
23rd floor, BPI Buendia Center, 360 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati 1200, Manila, The Philippines

Telephone: +63 2 891 5358

Fax: +63 2 891 5357



Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1630 hrs

Telephone: +63 2 891 5358

Fax: +63 2 891 5357