Advice levelsWhat does this mean?
- Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere in the Philippines. Possible targets include public transport, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, events, places of worship and tourist areas. Be alert to possible threats.
- The threat of kidnapping and piracy in the southern Philippines is very high. Especially in coastal resorts, coastal waters and isolated locations. Kidnappers may target popular tourist areas. If you travel to the southern Philippines, despite our advice, get professional security advice. Ensure your accommodation has proper security measures. Don’t travel by boat.
- Protests can turn violent. It's illegal to take part in political rallies if you're not Filipino. Avoid large public gatherings.
- Violent and other serious crime is common. Many crimes involve guns. Gunfights between criminals and police are not uncommon. Gangs often drug tourists before robbing or assaulting them. Pickpocketing, bag snatching and scams are common. Don't leave food or drinks unattended. Don’t use public transport. Be careful in crowded shopping malls and other public places. Only use ATMs in secure locations.
- Typhoons, tropical storms, flooding, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis are common. These events may disrupt essential services. Know your accommodation's evacuation plan.
Full travel advice: Safety
- COVID-19 remains a risk in the Philippines. See Local Laws and Travel. You must wear a face mask and shield outside your accommodation. Follow the advice of local authorities.
- Medical facilities are generally adequate in major cities. However, they are stretched due to COVID-19. Medical facilities are limited outside cities. Some medical providers may offer tele-consult services as an alternative to face-to-face consultations. Contact your provider for further details.
- There are measles and polio outbreaks across the country, including in Manila.
- Malaria and dengue are common, especially in many provincial areas. Other insect-borne diseases include Japanese encephalitis and filariasis. Consider taking anti-malarial medication.
- Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases include cholera, typhoid and hepatitis. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food. Don't swim in lakes or rivers.
- HIV/AIDS is a risk. Transmission rates between men who have sex with men are high. Take precautions if you engage in high-risk activities.
Full travel advice: Health
- Quarantine measures are in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 (including lockdowns, curfews and other travel restrictions). Measures can change regularly. You must wear a face mask and shield outside your accommodation. See Travel.
- If you're accused of a crime, authorities may not let you leave the Philippines until investigations and legal proceedings are finished. These can take a long time, sometimes years.
- Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties are severe and police are strictly enforcing laws. Mandatory sentences are common for possessing small amounts of drugs.
- The Philippines has strong laws against child sex crimes and human trafficking. You can also be charged under Australian law for child sex crimes committed overseas.
- Local laws don't protect LGBTI rights. Consider avoiding public displays of affection.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- A range of COVID-19 measures are in place throughout the Philippines. These can change regularly. The measures are different in each province and barangay. Follow the Philippine Department of Tourism for the latest advice. You should ensure you understand the requirements and restrictions where you're staying. You must wear a face mask and shield outside your accommodation.
- The Philippines has temporarily restricted entry to foreigners. You can't travel to the Philippines without an approved visa and travel exemption. You can’t transit through the Philippines at that this time.
- Register your travel to the Philippines on the One Health Pass online portal. You should also complete the ‘electronic health declaration checklist’ in order to receive a QR code to use for arrival formalities.
- On arrival you must complete a ‘Case Investigation Form’. You'll undergo self-funded COVID-19 testing. You must quarantine for 14 days at an accredited hotel/facility. You must also show evidence of pre-booked accommodation at the immigration counters on arrival. The booking must be for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility. Reduced quarantine may apply if you're fully vaccinated and coming from a ‘green’ listed country (see Travel).
- Airlines are operating weekly commercial flights out of the Philippines. Airline and transiting country protocols may differ. Check and fully understand the requirements of the airline you're travelling with. As well as the country you are transiting through.
- There are requirements in place to leave the Philippines, such as a negative COVID-19 test. You should also confirm with local authorities if a travel pass and health check is necessary to travel to the airport.
- Contact the Philippines Bureau of Immigration for advice about entry and exit requirements and visas.
Full travel advice: Travel
Terrorist attacks, including bombings, are possible anytime, anywhere in the Philippines. This includes Manila.
We continue to receive information indicating terrorists may be planning attacks in the Philippines.
Possible targets for future attacks include places travellers and expats visit, such as:
- transport hubs and the metro system
- hotels, shopping malls, clubs, restaurants, bars and markets
- places of worship
- outdoor recreation events
- other tourist areas
Mindanao and the southern Philippines
These areas have a high threat of:
If you visit central or western Mindanao despite our advice:
- get professional security advice
- have effective personal security measures in place
Terror attacks include:
- On 24 August 2020, a dual bomb attack in Jolo, Sulu killed 14 people and injured 75.
- On 7 September 2019, a bomb blast in a public market in Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao injured 7 people.
- On 28 June 2019, several soldiers and civilians were killed in a suicide bombing at the entrance to a military base at Indanan in Sulu, Mindanao.
- On 30 January 2019, a grenade attack at the Mahardika mosque in Zamboanga City, Mindanao killed 2 people and injured others.
- On 27 January 2019, a bomb attack at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, Mindanao, killed more than 27 people and injured many more.
- On 31 December 2018, a bomb exploded at the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City, Mindanao killing 2 people and injuring 28 others. Authorities found another bomb at the same shopping mall and carried out a controlled explosion.
- On 6 September 2018, a military operation in Sultan Dumalondong, Mindanao, killed 6 people.
- On 2 September 2018, an explosion in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao, killed 2 people and injured at least 14.
- On 31 July 2018, a vehicle bomb attack in Basilan, Mindanao, left 11 people dead and others injured.
- In April 2017, Philippines police and military clashed with heavily armed people in Inabanga, Bohol, Central Visayas. Casualties occurred.
- In December 2016, a bombing at a boxing tournament at Plaza Rizal, Hilongos, in Leyte injured several people.
- In November 2016, terrorists planted a bomb near the US Embassy in Manila.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Business or criminal-related kidnapping can happen anywhere in the Philippines. The threat is highest:
- along the Zamboanga Peninsula
- in the Sulu Archipelago
Both locals and foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped in central and western Mindanao and in eastern Malaysia. They may target popular tourist areas in:
- southern Palawan
- southern Negros
- southern Cebu
Kidnappers sometimes hold victims for a long time, sometimes for years, before releasing them. They sometimes kill their captives.
Criminals also kidnap commercial seamen from cargo vessels in the area.
The Australian Government has a longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
The threat of piracy in the southern Philippines is very high, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations.
If you travel to the southern Philippines despite our advice:
- get professional security advice
- arrange personal security measures
- check your accommodation has appropriate security measures
- avoid isolated coastal locations, especially after dark
- avoid travelling by boat, especially in the Sulu Archipelago and between Sabah, Malaysia, and Palawan in the Philippines
- check the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre
Civil unrest and political tension
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people are common and can turn violent.
It's illegal to take part in political rallies if you're not Filipino. Authorities may deport Australians or cancel their visas for being involved.
Armed clashes often occur between security forces and militants, especially in Mindanao and remote areas of northern Luzon.
The New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), which is associated with the Communist Party of the Philippines, operates throughout the Philippines. They are often involved in attacks targeting Philippine security forces.
Authorities suspect CPP-NPA militants were behind bomb attacks in Antipolo City and Masbate City in 2018.
In Mindanao, armed clashes between rival clans and other armed groups are also common. Sometimes clashes result in deaths and injuries.
If you see a confrontation between police and criminals or between rival groups, leave the area straight away.
Violent and other serious crime is a big problem in the Philippines.
Gangs are active in Manila, including in the central business district of Makati, and provincial resort towns.
Gangs can drug, rob or assault tourists.
To avoid drink spiking:
- never accept food or drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended
- if you aren't sure if a drink is safe, leave it
- stick with people you trust in bars, nightclubs and taxis
Gun ownership is widespread and poorly regulated. This adds to the high rate of violent crime.
Gunfights between police and criminals are not uncommon, including in tourist areas in Manila. People, including bystanders, are often killed or injured in such incidents.
Insurgent groups are sometimes involved in violent criminal activities in rural areas. They target business interests, including mining projects, for extortion.
Several Australians have died after property disputes turned violent.
Armed criminals sometimes rob and kill or injure people on:
- the metro
Avoid travel on these forms of transport.
Petty crime and scams
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common. Be careful in crowded shopping malls and other public places.
Scams, including those involving business ventures, credit cards and ATMs, are common.
To protect yourself from scams:
- undertake due diligence when entering into business ventures
- only use ATMs in secure locations such as banks, shops and shopping centres
- always keep your debit and credit cards in sight
To protect yourself from crime:
- always keep your personal belongings close, especially in crowded areas
- monitor local sources for information about new security risks
Swimming off coastal areas is risky.
Severe currents and rips are common in coastal areas. Many travellers have drowned, including at popular resorts.
Lifeguards are rarely available.
A red flag means you shouldn't enter the water.
If you plan on swimming:
- take extra care when swimming off coastal areas
- never swim after dark or after consuming alcohol
- don't swim where there are red flags
- get local advice before swimming
Tours and adventure activities
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes for adventure activities such as diving.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
- check if your travel insurance policy covers it
- ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
- always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Climate and natural disasters
To protect yourself during a natural disaster:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
- monitor news and other weather information sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities
- have a plan of what to do
- keep in touch with friends and family
Identify local sources of support and advice that can help you after a natural disaster.
If you're visiting after a natural disaster, contact your tour operator to check if services are affected.
Typhoons usually occur between late May and December and cause significant damage and disruption.
The direction and strength of typhoons can change with little warning.
Typhoons may disrupt telephone, internet and communications.
If you're travelling during typhoon season:
- know your accommodation's evacuation plans
- identify your local shelter
- check the latest typhoon information at the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre
If there's a typhoon:
- adequate shelter may not be available
- flights and ferries could be delayed or suspended, and travel could be unsafe
- available flights and ferries may fill quickly
- ports could be affected
Contact your airline for the latest flight information.
- National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC)
- Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
Earthquakes and volcanoes
The Philippines is located on the Ring of Fire. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common. It may take some time for full services to resume.
- On 12 August 2021, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental.
- On 24 July 2021, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit at an intermediate depth of 130km beneath the epicentre near Balayan, Luzon.
- On 7 February 2021 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred 6km southeast of Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur at an intensity of 5 (strong) in Kidapawan City causing injuries and damage to the area.
- On 22 January 2021, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental.
- On 25 December 2020, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred offshore near Batangas in central Luzon. This earthquake was felt in Manila.
- On 12 January 2020, Taal Volcano, in the southern Luzon province of Batangas, erupted. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has raised the alert level to four (level 4 of 5), meaning an "explosive eruption" could happen in the coming hours or days. As a result, residents within 14 kms were advised to evacuate, and ash clouds travelling over Manila affected both international and domestic flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
- In April 2019 a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the northern Luzon region. It damaged infrastructure and disrupted essential services, including transport. This earthquake was felt in Manila.
Monitor media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has set up permanent danger zones (PDZ) around the summits of several volcanoes:
- Mayon volcano in Albay Province has an 8km PDZ
- Bulusan volcano in Bicol Province has a 4km PDZ
- the entire volcanic island of Taal is a PDZ
Avoid areas around all of these volcanoes.
Volcanic activity may increase with little or no notice. It may disrupt flights in the region. Individual airlines make their own decisions about flight operations. Contact your airline or tour operator for up-to-date information.
If there is any major volcanic activity monitor warnings from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
Large and destructive tsunamis can happen.
If there's a tsunami warning:
- check the US Tsunami Warning Centre website regularly
- follow the advice of local authorities
Move to high ground straight away if:
- you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
- you feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
- you see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
- you hear loud and unusual noises from the sea
Don't wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you travel.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and if you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
If you travel to central and western Mindanao despite our advice, you'll probably need a specialised insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations. Most Australian policies won't cover you for travel to these areas.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you need to speak to counselling services in the Philippines, contact the following:
- In Touch (Crisis Line # +63 2 8893 7603 | +63 917 800 1123 | +63 922 893 8944
- National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) (Crisis Hotline +63 917 899 8272 | +63917 898 8272
You can also contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in the Philippines. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medication is
- how much you'll take
- that it's for personal use only
If you have concerns about your medication running low or not being able to top up your prescription with the same brand, you should seek local medical advice regarding alternative options and consult with your Australian doctor. Pharmacies are still operational.
COVID-19 remains a risk in the Philippines.
The Philippines has implemented a range of quarantine measures and other restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Philippines, which change regularly. These measures are different in each province and barangay (see Travel). Monitor media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Medical facilities are generally adequate in major cities but are limited outside cities. Medical facilities are stretched due to COVID-19 and you may be turned away due to some hospital’s capacity being reached.
For medical assistance, seek advice at hospitals or health centres nearest you. They may be able to assist with medication supplies if you’re running low. Pharmacies are still operational. Consult your doctor as well.
For information on the Philippines's COVID−19 vaccination program, refer to the Philippines Department of Health. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
To obtain a COVID-19 test, visit the Licensed COVID-19 Testing Laboratories in the Philippines | Department of Health website for a list of accredited testing laboratories in the Philippines.
- Novel coronavirus (Philippine Department of Health)
- Coronavirus (Department of Health)
- Coronavirus (COVID19)
- COVID-19 testing sites
- COVID-19 vaccines
There is currently a measles outbreak throughout the Philippines, including Manila.
In 2018, the Philippines reported more than 17,000 cases of measles. The rate is increasing and causing deaths.
Get vaccinated against measles.
Polio is an infectious disease that can spread rapidly and mainly affects young children. It can cause muscle weakness, paralysis and, on rare occasions, it can be fatal. Make sure you're vaccinated against polio.
On 19 September 2019, the Philippines Department of Health reported a polio outbreak.
These illnesses are more common during the rainy season between May and December.
Get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel.
There's no vaccination or specific treatment available for dengue or Zika virus.
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
- discuss travel plans with your doctor
- consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas
To protect yourself from disease:
- make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
- consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
HIV/AIDS is a risk for travellers.
Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Transmission rates between men who have sex with men are high.
Condoms may be difficult to find outside Manila.
Other health risks
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common, including:
Serious outbreaks can occur.
Lakes and rivers can contain waterborne diseases, such as:
Risks are highest after flooding and continue after floods recede.
Swimmers in coastal resort areas have also reported illness from pollution.
To reduce your risk of illness:
- drink boiled water or water from bottles with sealed lids
- avoid ice cubes
- avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
- don't swim in fresh water sources
- always check with local authorities before swimming in waters
- don't go near dogs and other mammals
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.
Ciguatera fish poisoning from eating reef fish can be a hazard.
Bird flu (avian influenza)
Avian influenza occurs in farm birds.
To protect yourself from avian influenza:
- stay away from live poultry
- don't visit live bird and animal markets, including 'wet' markets and poultry farms
When preparing food, handle poultry properly. Make sure you thoroughly cook all parts of the poultry.
Medical facilities are generally adequate in major cities; however, are stretched in response to COVID-19.
Major private hospitals, particularly in Metro Manila, are well-equipped and internationally accredited.
Most hospitals need up-front payment or guarantee of payment before they'll treat you. Treatment can be expensive.
Decompression chambers are available in:
- Makati City
- Cebu City
- Batangas City
- Quezon City
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
For a list of hospitals in the Philippines visit the Philippine Department of Health website.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
If you're accused of a crime, authorities may not let you leave the Philippines until investigations and legal proceedings are finished.
The justice process can take a long time. Some court cases take years.
Australians accused of crimes have experienced financial and other difficulties while waiting for their cases to finish.
The Philippines has implemented a range of quarantine measures and other restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Philippines, which change regularly. These measures are different in each province and barangay (see Travel).
You must wear a face mask and shield if you leave your accommodation.
Monitor media and follow the advice of local authorities. There is an increased presence of law enforcement.
Penalties for drug offences are severe.
A major clampdown on drugs - the war on drugs - has been underway since 2016. There are mandatory jail sentences for possessing even small amounts of illicit drugs. Thousands have been arrested and a large number of people have been killed in drug-related violence.
The Philippines also has strong laws against child sex crimes and human trafficking. Authorities have arrested and prosecuted a number of foreigners, including Australians, for these offences.
It's illegal to take photos of official buildings for publication.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Local laws don't protect LGBTI rights.
Locals generally tolerate the LGBTI community. However, open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend.
To enter the Philippines, you must have an approved visa, as well as a travel exemption prior to travel, or you will be refused entry. See the following links for the latest information:
- Philippine Embassy in Australia website
- Advisory on foreign Nationals who may enter the Philippines (Philippines Embassy)
- Philippines Bureau of Immigration website
The following information may not apply while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place.
In ordinary circumstances, you won't need a visa if you plan to:
- visit for tourism or business
- stay less than 30 days
In ordinary circumstances, you'll need a visa if you're:
- staying for longer
- visiting for another reason, such as work or study
Ensure you keep your visa up to date. Failure to do so may result in you being:
- fined or arrested
- detained in immigration detention
- deported back to Australia at your cost
- blacklisted from future travel to the Philippines
Detention conditions in the Philippines do not compare with Australian standards, and deportation processes can be lengthy.
You can apply to extend your tourist visa (visa waiver) through the Philippines Bureau of Immigration and pay the appropriate fees.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Get further details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules from:
Entry into the Philippines
The Philippines has temporarily restricted entry to foreigners. You must have an approved visa as well as a travel exemption, or you will be refused entry. The Australian Embassy is not able to intervene in any decisions made by the Bureau of Immigration if you are denied. The travel ban does not affect Filipino citizens.
The Bureau of Quarantine is implementing a One Health Pass online portal to register for your travel to the Philippines. You should complete the electronic health declaration checklist in order to receive a QR code. Upon arrival at the airport, enter the QR code at the Bureau of Quarantine to commence arrival formalities.
Immigration authorities may ask for proof of an onward or return ticket.
Children under 15 years of age may need a Waiver of Exclusion Ground if they're:
- not accompanied by a parent
- coming to meet a parent or parents in the Philippines
- local cash of more than PHP 50,000 to Bureau of Customs officers at the airport when you arrive or leave
- amounts of more than $US 10,000 or of the same value in a different foreign currency
- this covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You'll need to complete a ‘Case Investigation form’, and undergo COVID-19 testing. You must also quarantine for 14 days at an accredited hotel/facility. You'll need to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and quarantine.
If you're fully vaccinated, and coming from a ‘green’ listed country, you may only need to undergo a quarantine for seven days at a hotel or facility. Confirm requirements through your travel provider or nearest Philippine Embassy. You'll need your international vaccination evidence verified by the Bureau of Quarantine on arrival in the Philippines.
For more information, see IATF Resolution 128-A.
All foreign nationals (except 9(e) visa holders) must present evidence of pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility at the Immigration counters for initial check. Those who fail to present evidence of pre-booked accommodation will be denied entry and will be boarded immediately in the next available flight.
In ordinary circumstances, Immigration authorities may ask for proof of an onward or return ticket.
Staying in the Philippines
The Philippines has implemented a range of quarantine measures and other restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19. These apply throughout the Philippines and can change regularly. These are different in each province and barangay.
For detailed advice refer to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). The IATF publishes resolutions outlining the current quarantine levels and other specific restrictions. The Philippine COVID-19 website details what these levels mean for you.
Follow the Philippine Department of Tourism for advice on access to transport, food, accommodation and medication.
You must wear a face mask and shield whenever you leave your accommodation.
You should also:
- take care to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19
- ensure you have arrangements in place for an extended stay if you need to stay in the Philippines
- keep in contact with family and friends back home so they know you're safe and well
- buy essential supplies, including food, safe drinking water, medication and sanitation essentials
- exercise good hygiene, practice social distancing and wear personal protective gear (mask and gloves).
Our ability to provide consular assistance is likely to be limited during the Community Quarantine period due to movement and other restrictions. The Australian Embassy in Manila has emailed Australians known to be in the Philippines with more detailed advice. Visit the Embassy website or Facebook page for the full text of the email and to subscribe to updates from the Embassy.
Each provincial area (Barangay) is managing and implementing their own quarantine measures. We recommend you contact your local Barangay or Local Government Unit. Seek their advice on whether you need travel passes, medical clearances, quarantine and negative COVID-19 tests to travel around.
Fully vaccinated individuals may be exempt from some of these measures. You may need to show proof you are fully vaccinated.
If you obtained your vaccination abroad, you'll need your international vaccination evidence verified by the Bureau of Quarantine on arrival in the Philippines.
Departure from the Philippines
Several airlines are operating weekly commercial flights with connections to Australia. Contact a travel agent or call airlines directly to explore all flight options available. Be prepared for delays, disruptions and cancellations.
Airlines and transiting country protocols may differ. It's important that you check and fully understand the requirements of the airline you are travelling with. You should also check requirements for the country you are transiting through.
You must download and register an account in the Traze Contact Tracing mobile App before entry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Manila Terminals.
You must also have current visas and exit paperwork to depart. You may need an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration before you leave the Philippines if you have stayed in the Philippines for more than six months. You'll need to visit an immigration office in person to undertake biometrics. Allow enough time to complete the process at immigration office. For more information visit the Philippines Bureau of Immigration.
Children born in the Philippines who are leaving the country for the first time on a foreign passport will need an ECC.
You must pay any outstanding visa fees or fines or risk not being able to depart the country. You may be detained by the Philippine Government and subject to a lengthy deportation process.
You must have no outstanding legal issues or court cases. You need to contact the relevant court or the Bureau of Immigration to confirm that you do not have any travel restrictions (Hold Departure Order; Watchlist and Blacklist).
Check the Philippines Bureau of Immigration website for more detailed information or make an appointment to settle your visa issues.
Contact your local Barangay or Local Government Unit and seek their advice on whether travel passes, medical clearances, quarantine and negative COVID-19 tests are required in order for you to travel around or to the airport.
Depending on your Philippine visa type (such as those issued by the Philippine Department of Justice (DoJ), the Philippine Board of Investments (BoI), the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)), you may need to obtain a Travel Pass from the Department that issued your visa in order to leave the Philippines. If you hold an ECC issued by the Bureau of Immigration you may be exempt from this requirement.
If you're leaving the Philippines from Mactan-Cebu or Clark International Airports, you need to pay a departure tax.
Confirm with local authorities if a travel pass and health check is necessary to travel to the airport.
If transiting through a third country, ensure you have completed any forms to transit that country. Ensure you have six months validity on your passport.
The wearing of masks is mandatory for all international and domestic flights to and within Australia.
Transiting through the Philippines
You cannot transit through the Philippines at this time
Transit restrictions have been implemented. Immediate connecting flights for international to international and international to domestic routes are not allowed.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
If you need to renew or replace your passport, please contact the Australian Embassy directly for advice about how we can assist you with your passport during COVID-19 restrictions in the Philippines.
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If you lose your passport on arrival into the Philippines, before passing through Immigration, you'll be refused entry to the Philippines. You'll be sent back to your port of origin by Philippine Government and the Australian Government is unable to help.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Philippine peso (PHP). You can easily convert AUD for PHP at airports, banks, shopping centres, tourist locations, in major cities and towns.
ATMs are widely available. International credit cards are generally accepted in hotels, restaurants and higher-end shops, particularly in cities and larger towns. However, it is advisable to keep some cash. Card skimming occurs.
Domestic travel is severely disrupted due to COVID-19 movement and other restrictions (see Travel).
You can use an Australian driver's licence for up to 90 days after you arrive. After that, you need to get a Philippines licence.
Roads are generally congested and often in poor condition. Drivers often break the road rules.
Avoid driving off the national highways and other sealed roads, especially at night.
You're 2 times as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in the Philippines than in Australia.
Certified helmets are mandatory when riding in major cities. Accidents are frequent.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorbike and if any exclusions apply. You might not be covered if you don't have a valid Australian motorcycle licence.
Use ridesharing apps and Grab taxis sourced from hotels. They're more reliable than taxis hailed on the street.
Public road (bus, jeepneys) and rail transport is widely used throughout the country but should be avoided due to safety and security. See Safety.
Sea travel in the Philippines can be hazardous.
Avoid ferries if you can.
If you must travel by sea:
- use a ferry service with a good reputation
- don't use ferries that are overcrowded and appear poorly maintained
- take your own lifejacket
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check the Philippines' air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network website.
Qatar and ANA currently offer non-direct routes to Australia from Manila.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
Fire and rescue services
Call 117 for the Police National Operations Center hotline.
Or contact your nearest Philippines National Police (PNP) station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, see contact details below.
Australian Embassy, Manila
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, 1200, Philippines
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia