Official Global Travel Advisories

Mandatory COVID-19 testing

To be allowed to board a flight to Canada, all air passengers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of their scheduled time of departure to Canada. If the traveller has a connecting flight to Canada, the pre-departure test must be conducted within 72 hours of the last direct flight to Canada. This means they may need to schedule a COVID-19 test at their transit city within 72 hours of their direct flight to Canada.

All travellers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, arriving to Canada by land are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours prior to crossing the border into Canada.

Alternatively, travellers can present a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to departure.

More information on measures in place to enter Canada – Government of Canada

Philippines Register Travel insurance Destinations

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Latest updates: Thorough review and update of the entire travel advice content


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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

COVID-19 – Global travel advisory

Effective date: March 13, 2020

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.

More about the Global travel advisory

PHILIPPINES - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping.

Sulu archipelago - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the following provinces of the Sulu archipelago due to the presence of extremist groups, serious threat of attacks, kidnapping, piracy and violent clashes between the security forces and rebel groups:

  • Basilan
  • Sulu
  • Tawi-Tawi

Safety and security situation

Western and central Mindanao - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the following provinces of Mindanao island, due to the serious threat of terrorism, kidnapping, high levels of crime, and violent clashes between the security forces and rebel groups:

  • Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
    • Lanao del Sur
    • Maguindanao
  • Northern Mindanao
    • Bukidnon
    • Camiguin
    • Lanao del Norte
    • Misamis Occidental
    • Misamis Oriental
  • Soccsksargen
    • Cotabato
    • Sarangani
    • South Cotabato
    • Sultan Kudarat
  • Zamboanga Peninsula
    • Zamboanga del Norte
    • Zamboanga del Sur
    • Zamboanga Sibugay

Safety and security situation

Eastern Mindanao - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following provinces of Mindanao island due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping, high levels of crime, and violent clashes between the security forces and rebel groups:

  • Caraga
    • Agusan del Norte
    • Agusan del Sur
    • Dinagat Islands
    • Surigao del Norte
    • Surigao del Sur
  • Davao
    • Davao de Oro
    • Davao del Norte
    • Davao del Sur
    • Davao Occidental
    • Davao Oriental

Safety and security situation

Safety and security

Safety and security

COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions

Nationwide measures

Preventative measures and restrictions are in place.

Travel between provinces may be restricted and local authorities have restricted inbound passengers into the country. As a result, flight cancellations may occur.

At all times, you must wear a face shield outside your home or accommodation.

Localized measures

A daily curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in Metro Manila.

You must stay at home if:

  • you’re younger than 18 or older than 65
  • you suffer from a chronic illness
  • you’re pregnant

Other curfews, which hours vary, and general containments are also in effect in different areas throughout the country.

Local authorities are actively monitoring and enforcing compliance. If you violate movement restrictions or preventative measures, you could be fined and face imprisonment for endangering public health.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
  • Avoid crowded areas

Useful links

Southern Philippines

Extremists have been active in the southern Philippines for several years.

Sulu archipelago

There is a serious threat of terrorism, kidnapping, and piracy in the Sulu archipelago, including in the waters south of the island of Palawan.

In recent years, bombing incidents have caused several casualties and property destruction in Jolo.

Mindanao island

There’s a risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in all Mindanao. The situation is more critical in the following regions of western and central Mindanao:

  • Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
  • Northern Mindanao
  • Soccsksargen
  • Zamboanga Peninsula

Bombs causing deaths, injuries, and property destruction have exploded in public areas of major centres, including the cities of:

  • Cotabato
  • General Santos
  • Isabela
  • Kidapawan
  • Zamboanga

Clashes occur between insurgent groups and security forces. Insurgents have also kidnapped several foreigners in this region. Innocent bystanders have occasionally been taken hostage.

Local authorities have declared an indefinite “state of emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao.” As a result, security forces have increased rights to conduct searches, seizures, and detain persons of interest. Some civil rights may be suspended and curfew may also be imposed without notice.

There’s a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Government of Canada's ability to provide consular assistance is limited if you get stranded in this area.

If you chose to travel in the southern Philippines despite this advisory:

  • remain indoors as much as possible
  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • avoid crowded places
  • always travel with identification
  • expect an increased security presence in public areas, especially around malls and transportation hubs
  • stop at security checkpoints
  • monitor local media
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

War on drugs

The current Filipino government has conducted a robust nationwide campaign against illegal drugs since June 2016. This has resulted in armed confrontations between authorities and suspected drug dealers and users.

A state of emergency remains in effect nationwide. Security forces could increase patrols and security checkpoints throughout the country. They may also impose curfews on short notice.

Numerous extrajudicial killings have taken place. Several thousand people believed to be associated with the drug trade have been killed.

There’s a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting caught in the crossfire.

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Expect an increased security presence in public areas, especially around malls and transportation hubs
  • Follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Several terrorist groups are active in the Philippines. They have carried out several attacks throughout the country, including in major cities and places visited by foreigners. They have used occasions such as religious holidays and sporting events, and public celebrations to mount attacks.

Terrorist attacks are far more frequent in Western Mindanao, where government forces and rebel groups frequently clash.

Further attacks are likely. Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including military and police installations
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist destinations, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Kidnapping

There is a threat of kidnapping across the country, especially in the southern islands. Kidnappings are conducted by both terrorist and rebel groups. They may also be opportunistic. Kidnappers have targeted foreigners, including Canadians. Some abductions have ended in execution after a long period of harsh treatment.

The threat of kidnapping varies according to the location, but it’s particularly high in:

  • Mindanao
  • the Sulu archipelago
  • the nearby waters of Palawan island in the Sulu Sea
  • the nearby waters of the Celebes Sea

Kidnappers are most active in coastal areas where they target individuals on private boats, in marinas and resorts. They have also kidnapped cargo vessels’ crew.  

While in the Philippines:

  • maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times
  • stay in reputable accommodation with adequate security measures
  • report any suspicious behaviour to security forces
  • if kidnapped, comply with the kidnappers’ requests and don’t attempt to resist
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Crime

Although local authorities have reported a decrease in crime rates for a few consecutive years, criminality remains a serious concern throughout the country.

Organized crime

The security situation in the Philippines has suffered from the war on drugs initiated by the local government in 2016. Gunfights between security forces and criminals are frequent, and bystanders are often caught in such incidents.

Militant and rebel groups are active, in particular in northern and central Luzon, as well as in the islands of:

  • Samar
  • Leyte
  • Masbate
  • Negros
  • Mindoro

Gangs are also active in Manila, including in the central business district of Makati and the Tondo port area.

  • Stay away from slum areas in Manila
  • Be aware of your surroundings if you travel on rural roads

Violent crime

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, sexual assault, and murder, occur regularly. The possession of guns and other weapons is common and poorly regulated. Criminals have attacked foreigners. 

Violent incidents may increase around elections.

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, swarming and bag snatching, occurs, especially in urban areas.

  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Be careful in crowded shopping malls and other public places
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money
  • Keep valuables in safe place
  • Keep backpacks and bags away from traffic, as motorcyclists may grab them from pedestrians, sometimes causing injury
  • Beware of friendly strangers offering to take you around town or on an excursion

Spiked food and drinks

Some criminals have drugged and robbed tourists travelling alone after an invitation to visit a tourist attraction.

Never leave your food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs frequently. Illegal electronic devices are sometimes attached to ATM card readers, enabling them to record information such as the user’s PIN.

 Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

More about overseas fraud

Scams

Online financial scams

Internet is frequently used to initiate financial scams. Scammers often use fake profiles to target Westerners and steal from them. Once they succeed in building a virtual relationship, they ask for money for various purposes. This could include business or financial opportunities such as:

  • money transfers
  • lucrative sales
  • gold purchase
  • lotteries
  • inheritance notices
  • job offers
  • bank overpayments

If you intend to do business in the Philippines:

  • ensure that any business opportunity is legitimate before leaving
  • don’t travel to the Philippines with the intention to obtain restitution after losing money to a fraud

Internet romance

Internet romance is also common. Victims of this type of scams have lost thousands of dollars. Before travelling to the Philippines to visit someone you met online:

  • keep in mind that you may be the victim of a scam
  • inform yourself about the country’s customs and laws on conjugal relations and marriage
  • be sure to retain possession of your return plane ticket, money, and passport

Child abuse

Locals with children may befriend single male tourists and then accuse them of child abuse to extort money from them.

Report any incident of crime or scams to local police before you leave the country.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Safe-travel guide for women

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place regularly, including in Manila. Clashes often occur between security forces and demonstrators, especially in Mindanao and remote areas of northern Luzon.

Filipino law prohibits political activities by foreigners. Participating in demonstrations may result in being detained or deported.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Water activities

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.

Most of the time, lifeguards are not present to supervise swimmers. Many beaches don’t offer warnings of dangerous conditions.

Water pollution is also a concern.

  • Seek local advice before swimming
  • Avoid swimming if red flags are flown

Scuba diving

Diving schools and rescue services may not adhere to Canadian standards.

  • Use only reputable dive companies
  • Make sure the company offers proper safety equipment
  • Verify the location of the closest decompression chamber with your dive company

Road safety

Road conditions are poor throughout the country. Most roads, including major highways, are poorly maintained, and traffic is congested.

Many drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They are extremely reckless. They often drive at excessive speeds or way below the speed limit on highways. Accidents causing fatalities are common.

Driving conditions are hazardous at all times. During the rainy season, metro centres may become impassable due to flash floods.

Even minor road incidents can escalate quickly and lead to violent assaults.

If driving in the Philippines:

  • avoid travel outside urban areas or tourist centres after dark
  • stay on national highways and paved roads
  • avoid any confrontation

Scooters

Most people travel using mopeds. Fatal scooter accidents involving tourists are common.

If renting a scooter or moped:

  • be vigilant while driving
  • avoid renting from operators who don’t provide a helmet with the rental
  • avoid driving on roads in disrepair

Public transportation

The safety and reliability of public transportation are poor.

Buses

Minibuses, known as jeepneys, and large buses are often old, poorly maintained, and overcrowded. Pickpocketing and armed robberies are frequent, especially in large cities such as Manila and Cebu. 

Some interurban buses have also been involved in fatal accidents.

Motorcycles

Motorcycle transportation is prevalent throughout the country, whether by habal-habal or tricycle.

Habal-habal are motorcycles with extensions, which can carry several passengers at a time. They are illegal and dangerous.

Tricycles are rather a safe option as they don’t drive very fast. However, vehicles may be in poor condition. They aren’t metered and can be hailed anywhere.

  • Don’t use habal-habal
  • Avoid using tricycles at night on country roads
  • Agree on a fare with the tricycle driver before departing to avoid scams 

Taxis

Although most taxi services are safe and reliable, there have been extortion incidents from taxi drivers.  

To minimize your risks:

  • avoid hailing a taxi on the street
  • only enter metered taxis from a reliable company and insist the meter be turned on
  • prefer hotel transportation, official airport taxis, or a ridesharing app
  • never share taxis with strangers
  • ask for the windows being rolled up and doors locked at all times
  • record the taxi’s licence plate and provide the information to a relative/friend

Ferry

Ferry accidents occur. Some vessels are poorly maintained and overcrowded. Accidents are more prevalent during the rainy season as storms can develop quickly. As a result, local authorities may suspend ferry services on short notice when a storm signal is raised, even if the weather is clear. You could get stranded at ports for several days.

If travelling by sea:

  • use only a reliable company
  • don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy
  • make sure you have access to a life jacket
  • plan for extra time, especially during the rainy season

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery targeting ships occur in coastal waters. You may face an elevated threat of kidnapping in waters:

  • around Mindanao
  • in the Sulu Sea
  • in the Celebes Sea
  • south of Palawan Island
  • south of Negros Island
  • around Siquijor Island

Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry and transit requirements

Philippines has implemented special entry requirements for its territory. Travellers arriving from Canada may be allowed entry to the Philippines, if they meet specific criteria.

It is your responsibility to verify this information with the appropriate foreign diplomatic office and to ask if you may be allowed entry, based on your individual circumstances and your itinerary.

The information provided is based on travel from Canada. Keep in mind that your transit points could affect your ability to enter the country.

If you are allowed entry to the Philippines, you must meet the additional requirements below.

Visa

Canadians temporarily require a visa to visit the Philippines.

Quarantine

You will be subject to a mandatory quarantine in a government designated hotel for a minimum of 7 nights at your own expense. You must pre-book this hotel. After 7 days, you must take a PCR test at your own expense. If your PCR test comes back negative, you may be allowed to self-isolate at home until the completion of your 14-day quarantine.

Local authorities may impose additional requirements without notice and your travel plans could be severely disrupted. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.

Useful links

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Philippine authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days
Business visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days
Student visa: required

If you need to extend your stay above the 30-day visa-free period, you must require the proper authorization from local authorities before this period ends.

The visa that immigration officials issue upon your arrival in the Philippines takes precedence over any visa you may have obtained from a Philippine embassy or consulate abroad.

If you’re leaving the Philippines using a temporary passport issued inside the country, consult the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to obtain the required exit stamps.

Bureau of Immigration – Republic of the Philippines

Registration

Foreign nationals staying in the Philippines for longer than 59 days must register with the local authorities.

You must present yourself to a Bureau of Immigration office to register your biometrics, such as fingerprinting, and obtain a special security registration number. 

Bureau of Immigration offices – Republic of the Philippines

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket.

Boracay Island

Local authorities are restricting visitors to Boracay Island.

You may need proof of accommodation in an accredited hotel to be allowed entry.

Exit requirements

Travel pass

Foreign nationals travelling on a visa issued by one of the following authorities must present a travel pass to leave the country:

  • the Department of Justice
  • the Board of Investments
  • the Philippine Retirement Authority
  • the Philippine Economic Zone Authority
  • the economic zones

Travel pass  – Bureau of Immigration, Republic of the Philippines

Emigration clearance certificate

If you’ve been in the country for 6 months or more, you must obtain an emigration clearance certificate (ECC), also known as an exit clearance, and pay applicable fees at least 72 hours before your expected departure.

This also applies to children born in the Philippines who are leaving the country for the first time on a foreign passport.

Emigration clearance certificate – Bureau of Immigration, Republic of the Philippines

Medical screening

You may be subject to a body temperature check when entering the Philippines. This may result in isolation and treatment.

Children and travel

Children under 15 years travelling alone need a Waiver for Exclusion Ground to enter the Philippines.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Health

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Polio *Proof of vaccination*

Polio is present in this country. Polio can be prevented by vaccination, which is part of the routine vaccines for children in Canada.

Recommendation:

  • Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.  

Proof of vaccination:

If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may need to show proof of polio vaccination when you leave the country.

Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination.In Canada, they are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.

Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country.  Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas of Southeastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round.  It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

Zika Virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Falsified rabies medications circulating in the Philippines

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an alert that fake versions of rabies vaccine and anti-rabies serum have been reported in the Philippines. For more information, please see the  Medical Product Alert issued by the WHO.

If you receive rabies vaccine or anti-rabies serum while in the Philippines, consult a health care professional upon your return to see if revaccination is necessary.

All bites and scratches from animals should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and investigated by a health care professional to assess the risk of rabies.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing facilities

Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:

Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Government of the Philippines

Good medical services and facilities are limited in availability, especially outside major urban areas. Public medical clinics often lack basic resources and equipment.

Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.  Most hospitals will require a down payment of estimated fees at the time of admission. They may also require additional payments during hospitalization.

Some hospitals require patients to have a full-time caregiver. You may have to hire one if you’re travelling alone.

Emergency services are not widely available. Time response can be slow.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may require evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medication

Some medication that can be purchased over-the-counter in Canada is illegal in the Philippines. If you bring some medicines with you, you’re responsible for determining their legality before departing. If you enter the country with drugs locally considered illegal, including prescription drugs, you may be fined or detained.

  • Make sure your medicines are legal in the Philippines before departure
  • Bring your own medicines, but only in quantities sufficient for the duration of your stay
  • Seal and declare a separate quantity of prescription drugs before departing the Philippines if you’re travelling onward to another country
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions as well as a letter from your physician stating the dosage and your relevant medical condition
  • Pack your medicines in your carry-on luggage

Air pollution

Air pollution can be severe in several major cities. It may affect people suffering from respiratory ailments.  

During periods of high pollution:

  • consult your doctor before traveling to see if the situation could affect you
  • limit your activities outdoors
  • monitor local media
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Judicial processes may last several years. Foreign nationals are often held in harsh conditions without the possibility of bail.  

Some crimes carry penalties harsher than those in Canada. For examples, a conviction for:

  • sexual assault can result in life imprisonment
  •  “swindling” or “bad debts” can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years
  • bomb threat can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years, a fine, or both

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use, trafficking or importation, including through e-commerce, of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect life imprisonment and heavy fines.

Many drugs considered as legal in Canada are illegal in the Philippines. This includes cannabis, regardless of quantity and purpose of use, as well as some over-the-counter medicine and prescription drugs.

Child sex tourism

Penalties for pedophilia are severe. Under Philippine law, a child is defined as a person under 18.

Police may investigate any adult who is with:

  • an unrelated child 12 years of age or younger, or 10 years or more his/her junior
  • an unrelated child under age 18 inside the room of a house, hotel, or other similar establishments, vehicle, or other secluded location, and is suspected of having the intention to exploit the child sexually

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime

Photography

The government prohibits any photography of official buildings or military installations that is intended for publication.

Marriage

If you wish to marry in the Philippines, ensure that you’re well informed regarding legal requirements. Visit the Embassy of Canada to the Philippines website for information on documents and procedures.

Boracay Island

To protect the environment, local authorities restrict access to Boracay Island. As a result, some activities are prohibited, including:

  • the consumption of alcohol and tobacco in public places, including White Beach
  • Water sports, including diving

If you plan to visit Boracay, make sure you know about its rules and regulations before leaving.

Demonstrations

Filipino law prohibits political activities by foreigners.

Attending any protest, demonstration, or political rally as a foreign national may lead to detention and deportation.

Identification

Foreigners must carry identification at all times.

A photocopy of the identification page of your passport is acceptable.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Philippines.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the Philippines, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Dual citizens must obtain a certificate of recognition from Philippine authorities to ensure the legal recognition of both citizenships.

Driving

You can drive in the Philippines with a valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 90 days. After that period, you must apply for a local driving permit.

You should carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

The currency in the Philippines is the peso (PHP).

ATMs are available in larger cities but may be scarce in rural areas. Make sure to have access to cash in local currency if you’re travelling outside larger urban areas.

You may enter the Philippines with:

  • up to PHP 50,000;
  • up to US$10,000 or other currency equivalent

You need a written authorization from local authorities for greater amounts.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Typhoons and monsoons

The rainy or monsoon season extends from May to December, but storms can occur throughout the year. The Philippines experiences around 20 typhoons per year, mostly between June and November.

Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged. Flooding and mudslides are frequent following heavy rains, even in Manila.

If you decide to travel to the Philippines during the rainy season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Seismic activity

The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences regular seismic activity.

Volcanoes

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano, located in the province of Batangas, on Luzon Island, is currently showing signs of a possible eruption. On March 8, 2021, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology increased its alert status to level 2 (moderate level of volcanic unrest).

At present, weak volcanic and seismic activity is ongoing but sudden explosions could occur. Ashes could affect surrounding areas, including Metro Manila. Flight disruptions could occur without notice at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Local authorities may also issue evacuation orders within the volcano area.

The last eruption of the Taal volcano was on January 12, 2020.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation

Volcano Bulletin - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

There are several active and potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines, mainly on Luzon island.

Volcanic activity may escalate suddenly. Volcanic ash clouds may cause disruptions to domestic and international flights. Local authorities may also raise alert levels and issue evacuations ordered on short notice.

If you are near active volcanoes:

  • monitor levels of volcanic activity through the local media
  • pay careful attention to all warnings issued
  • follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice

Earthquakes

The Philippines is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur regularly.

Familiarize yourself with earthquake security measures in public and private buildings.

Tsunamis

The Philippines is prone to tsunamis.

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of a tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor.

If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning. 

Useful links

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Consular assistance

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines is limiting in-person services. The Consulate of Canada in Cebu is only providing emergency assistance, in coordination with the Embassy of Canada in Manila.

If you need consular assistance, contact the Embassy by email or telephone.

Manila - Embassy of Canada
Street Address8th Floor, Tower 2, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Manila, Philippines 0707Postal AddressP.O. Box 2168, Makati Central Post Office, Philippines 1261Telephone+63 2 8 857 9000Fax+63 2 8 857 9173Emailmanila-consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.philippines.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to the PhilippinesTwitter@CanEmbPH
Cebu - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressRD Corporate Center, 96 Gov. M.C. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City 6000, PhilippinesTelephone+63 32 256 3320Fax+63 32 238 3421Emailcanada.cebu@gmail.comInternetwww.philippines.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada in the PhilippinesTwitter@CanEmbPHConsular servicesThe Consulate of Canada in Cebu provides limited information and notary services, by appointment only.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to the Philippines, in Manila, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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