Philippines travel advice

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. Information as of late October 2015 indicates that kidnap for ransom groups may be planning operations in North Mindanao including the islands off the coast.

There are several terrorist groups operating in the Philippines that continue to pose a threat. These groups include New People’s Army (NPA), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and other associated groups. Although there is hope that the 2014 comprehensive peace agreement will bring the 40 year insurgency in the south of the country to an end, extreme elements within the two main insurgent groups, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), continue to pose a security threat. A splinter group of the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), has been responsible for a number of attacks on the Philippine military and security services.

Civilian targets in Mindanao have been attacked and there remains a threat of attacks throughout much of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Be aware of the risk of terrorist attacks to all forms of public transport: road, rail, sea and air. Terrorist groups have threatened to attack passenger ferries and other vessels, particularly those operating from Mindanao. You should avoid using public transport throughout Mindanao.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against western interests and nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.