Philippines Travel Alerts and Warnings

Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to The Philippines.

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Older Alerts

Typhoon Mangkhut

The Category 5 Typhoon Mangkhut is currently tracking towards the northern Philippines with sustained winds of 165mph (265kph) and gusts at 202mph (325kph). Meteorologists consider the typhoon to be the most powerful this season. Emergency personnel have been deployed to the Philippine island of Luzon where the typhoon is expected to hit Cagayan province on Saturday.

Mangkhut will also bring heavy rain which may cause localized flash flooding, landslides and storm surge. Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation.

Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.

Boracay Shutdown

On April 26, 2018, the Philippines Government shut down tourist access to the island of Boracay as a result of over-tourism and the resulting damage to the island's environment. The closure was announced on April 5 by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who said the beaches and clear blue water had been turned into a "cesspool".

This shut-down is estimated to last for six months, and government authorities aim to clean up the island by flushing out illegal tourism operators and upgrading the sewer networks, which have struggled to cope with the influx of tourists to the island and has resulted in wastewater being pumped into the ocean. Aside from land-based tourists, cruise ships have also contributed to the pressure on the island's resources and infrastructure.

However, this clean up may be short-lived, as approval has been given for a large casino complex on Boracay.

In 2017, approximately two million tourists visited Boracay, 300,000 more than the previous year.

Alternatives to Boracay

Despite the Boracay closure, that doesn't mean you should stay away from the Philippines. This archipelago nation has plenty of other islands to visit beaches, waterfalls and enjoy off-road adventures including trekking Mt Pinatubo on Luzon, visiting the Cloud 9 surf break at Siargao Island, ziplining on Bohol Island and scuba diving with thresher sharks at Malapascua.

How to Survive a Kidnapping

The First Minutes

Avoiding being kidnapped is clearly the best option, so in these initial, very chaotic moments lies your best chance to escape the situation, but you’ll have to act fast.

After You’re Captured.

Once the kidnappers have asserted control, resistance could get you killed. Passive compliance is the safest option. You may be beaten or drugged to impose control. Remember you are valuable to them only if you’re alive, they intend to subdue you not kill you at this stage.

Do not threaten or insult your captors. Remain dignified – your captors will be reluctant to harm someone they perceive as a decent human.

Try to keep track of time (watch shadows on the wall, or listen to sounds outside). Use this to establish a schedule of regular events; it may be handy as part of an escape plan.

Keep mentally alert by doing math problems in your head, or playing word games. Hold imaginary conversations with friends and family.

Keep physically alert by doing regular exercise. It will help your emotional state and keep you fit in case an opportunity to escape presents itself.

Should You Try to Escape?

Futile attempts at escape will only result in you being more strictly guarded or controlled, making further attempts impossible. By observing your situation closely you may be able to devise a successful escape attempt. Plan for that and wait until the time is right.

When Rescue Comes

This is possibly the most dangerous moment for you.  There will be confusion, chaos and very tense heavily-armed people all around you. Do not run. Seek shelter from your captors and your rescuers, lie on the floor with your hands on your head. If you are standing or seated, cross your arms over your chest and keep your head bowed.

Cooperate with instructions from your rescuers – even if they mistake you for a kidnapper, the real situation will be revealed after the confusion ends.

Am I Covered for Kidnap?

Your ransom is not covered by your insurance policy. However, if you are seriously injured or become ill you do have cover for overseas medical expenses (and medical repatriation if we agree that it is medically necessary) as well as any resulting cancellation costs and trip interruption.

Certain policies also include additional cover for psychological trauma and a daily cash kidnap benefit – but coverage terms, conditions, and limits differ depending on the plan you have chosen, and your country of residence. For full details, please read the policy wording or call your travel insurance provider to discuss.

Get a travel insurance quote for Philippines

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

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