Philippines

Philippines

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following provinces: Compostela Valley, Surigao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Misamis Oriental
Avoid Travel to the following provinces: Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Sulu, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Shariff Kabunsuan, Basilan, Sarangani, Zamboanga Sibugay, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Sur, and Tawi-Tawi

The Republic of the Philippines is located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and is an archipelago of 7,107 islands between the Philippines Sea and the South China Sea. The population of the country is about 93 million people. In addition to the official languages, many recognized regional languages are also spoken.

The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and head of government elected by popular vote. Since independence was recognized in 1946, the Philippines has often had turbulent experience with democracy. The government today faces challenges such as threats from several terrorist groups in the country.

Because the Philippines is located on the volcanic Pacific Ring of Fire, the area is prone to earthquakes, has 20 active volcanoes, and its tropical climate makes it vulnerable to typhoons. The Philippines has many natural resources and very rich biodiversity. The Philippines has some of the world’s best diving and spectacular snorkeling. Tropical beaches can be found on almost any one of the islands. Also, medical tourism is on the rise since prices can be as much as 80 percent less than abroad.

Currency PHP: Philippine peso
Language Filipino and English
Capital Manila
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert March 01, 2017 - Cholera outbreak in the Visayas, Philippines

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Philippines. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in the Philippines through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in the Philippines.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in the Philippines, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis occurs in this country. The transmission seasons are typically thought to be: For West Luzon, Mindoro, Negros and Palawan from April to November. All other areas: year-round, with the highest risk April to January. Rarely cases in travellers are reported outside these months.

Malaria

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that malaria is present throughout the year in rural areas below 600 meters, except none in the 22 provinces of Aklan, Albay, Benguet, Biliran, Bohol, Camiguin, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cebu, Guimaras, Iloilo, Northern Leyte, Southern Leyte, Marinduque, Masbate, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Siquijor, Sorsogon, and Surigao Del Norte. None in metropolitan Manila and other urban areas. NaTHNaC states that there is a risk of malaria in rural areas of the Philippines below 600 meters and on the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, and Palawan. There is no risk in cities or on the islands of Boracay, Bohol, Catanduanes, Cebu and Leyte.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in the Philippines, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya occurs in the Philippines. Outbreaks of this disease usually occur during the tropical rainy season, but can occur during the dry season as well.

Scrub Typhus

Areas of high risk for scrub typhus in the Philippines include grassy rural areas below 3,000 meters on Leyte, Samar, Mindoro, Luzon, Negros, Panay, Palawan, Cebu, and Mindanao.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in the Philippines, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Travellers are at risk if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk for yellow fever transmission in this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Cholera

Cholera may occur in the Philippines.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Philippines.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

The vaccination is recommended for long-term travellers (i.e. trips lasting a month or more) to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season. Consider the vaccination for the following groups: Short-term (<1 month) travellers to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season if their itinerary or activities will increase their risk (e.g. spending substantial time outdoors in rural or agricultural areas; staying in accommodations without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets.); travellers to an area with an ongoing outbreak of Japanese encephalitis; travellers to endemic areas who are uncertain of specific activities or duration of travel.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended for this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Philippines.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Philippines

Emergency Numbers

117

Personal Safety

Crime is a problem in the Philippines, especially in Manila. To prevent becoming a target, travellers should avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables and avoid showing signs of affluence like expensive clothing or jewellery. Gang violence also occurs in Manila, particularly in the Makati central business district, and there have been reports of tourists being drugged and robbed. Travellers should never accept food or drink from strangers or leave their drinks unattended. Travellers should maintain a high degree of personal awareness at all times.

Only use officially marked taxis and do not share them with strangers. When using marine transportation, do not board vessels that are overloaded or appear to be unsafe as accidents have occurred.

Areas To Avoid

Travellers to the Philippines should avoid all travel to south-west Mindanao, including the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula and the Sulu Archipelago, due to on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups, the threat of kidnapping against foreigners as well as the risk of bombings, crime-related shootings, and terrorist attacks.

Only essential travel should be undertaken to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reasons.

In Cotabato City, and in the Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, the government maintains a state of emergency and a greater police presence in those areas.

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