Are there unsafe areas in Manila, Philippines
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist tripsto the Philippines will currently warned.
The Philippines has been severely affected by COVID-19. The regional focus is the metropolitan area of Metro Manila.
The Philippines are still classified as a risk area.
The Philippine Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
Until further notice, foreigners are prohibited from entering the Philippines. Filipino entry visas that have been issued have been declared invalid; new visas are currently not being issued. Exceptions apply from May 1, 2021 exclusively for aircraft and ship crews, for family members (spouses, children, parents) of Filipino nationals, for diplomats and members of international organizations who are accredited in the Philippines, as well as for foreigners who are already in possession of individuals Long-term visa categories, especially different categories of business visas. Travelers are subject to a 14-day quarantine obligation after entry, during which a PCR test must be carried out on the seventh day. All travelers, with the exception of diplomats and members of international organizations, must present a booking for an accredited quarantine facility for at least 10 days. Diplomats and members of international organizations must present a negative PCR test that is not older than 72 hours upon entry.
To contain the virus variant B.1.617, which was first detected in India, air passengers who come from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman or the United Arab Emirates or who are there during the last one, will initially be used until May 31, 2021 Have stayed 14 days, denied entry to the Philippines. Travelers who were exclusively air transit passengers in these countries are exempt from this entry ban.
Transit and onward travel
Travel between the provinces is possible to a limited extent. Health certificates, if necessary a negative PCR test, must be presented and quarantine in the target province in individual cases. Foreigners who are in the country are allowed to leave the country at any time. Many airlines require a negative COVID-19 test before you travel to the Philippines.
There are quotas for entry via the airport in Manila. Airlines receive their allotments a short time in advance, which can lead to changes in bookings or flight cancellations at short notice.
Restrictions in the country
The quarantine measures are limited to certain regions. There is currently a quarantine level in the greater Manila area with extensive restrictions on supplies and freedom of movement, as well as a night curfew. Individual city districts can tighten these restrictions if necessary.
The regular traffic connections between the islands of the country, which had been interrupted in the meantime, have been resumed, but can be restarted at short notice at any time. Domestic flights to Manila are unreliable.
The tourist infrastructure is severely restricted and numerous hotels and resorts are closed.
In public, it is mandatory to wear mouth and nose protection as well as face protection. There is an imperative to maintain a social distance. Mass gatherings are prohibited. Violations are punishable by fines and imprisonment.
In the event of infection, isolation takes place in state accommodation.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. Violations of hygiene regulations can result in heavy fines or imprisonment.
- Find out about detailed measures and additional information from the Philippine government.
- If you are in possession of a long-term visa or would like to apply for a special entry permit with an already issued and still valid tourist visa, inquire with the Philippine authorities, in Germany e.g. with the Philippine embassy, whether you belong to the group of those for whom entry is possible .
- Inquire with your airline about the exact specifications.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact the local health department.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Security - Partial Travel Warning
You are warned against traveling to the following regions or areas:
- Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)
- Northern Mindanao (Region X)
- Davao Region (Region XI) except for the urban area of Davao City
- Soccsksargen (Region XII)
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
- Islands of the Sulu Archipelago
- South Palawan with the exception of Puerto Princesa
Unnecessary travel to other regions of Mindanao and the Mindanao Sea is not recommended.
In several regions of the country there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings, both on land and at sea.
Different groups of Islamist terrorists and rebels are active in the above-mentioned areas, and there are repeated attacks and fighting with the Philippine army and security forces. In October 2017, the army was only able to recapture the city of Marawi, which was occupied by IS-affiliated terrorists, after five months of heavy fighting with over 1,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons.
Bomb attacks increased in 2018 and 2019 in West Mindanao, killing large numbers of people and injuring even more people. The targets were in Midsayap, Cotabato City, Isulan and General Santos City on Mindanao; in Lamitan City on Basilan and on Jolo.
The Islamist terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which operates in the region, is responsible for kidnappings and murders, especially in Mindanao and the Sulu Sea, and targets foreign victims of kidnapping. A German hostage was murdered in November 2016 and her travel companion in February 2017. Foreigners familiar with the area are also at risk.
In April 2017, there were skirmishes between heavily armed groups and Filipino security forces in Bohol and Davao.
In the same period in Manila, several bomb attacks occurred in the Quiapo district, the background of which remained unclear.
Since July 2016, the police and authorities have intensified the campaign against illegal drugs. One consequence of this policy, often referred to as the “war on drugs”, is very high death toll. According to government information, more than 6,000 people were killed in police operations by April 2019, non-governmental organizations and other observers, the death toll is far higher, at up to 30,000. There is always the risk of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and getting caught up in an exchange of fire.
Protests and demonstrations can occur, and violent clashes cannot be ruled out.
- Find out about the local media.
- Be especially careful throughout the country and avoid all contact with drugs and people who deal in drugs.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
The crime rate is high. There are pickpockets, handbag theft, e.g. by motorcyclists, and various scams. Street crime has increased significantly in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
Locals in particular are at risk of serious violent crimes, but the number of attacks on foreigners by organized gangs, but also by individual perpetrators, is increasing. This also affects car traffic and, for example, vehicles waiting at traffic lights.
Kidnapping, especially of business people, and other methods of extortion for the purpose of obtaining ransom and protection money are widespread. Occasionally, security staff have also placed prohibited items in travelers' luggage in order to extort money under threat of fines and police officers for alleged administrative offenses.
Tourists are often asked to transport items and luggage, especially on domestic and international flights. These can be drugs, which then often have serious consequences for tourists.
In entertainment districts, drugs or knockout drops are used in food and drinks to commit robbery and to raise bills. This is also more common with taxis that are stopped in the street, as is tourist guides.
In addition, private vehicles or illegal taxi services also harbor the risk of robbery.
Credit card fraud and scams when changing money, by artists, but also by telephone and e-mail are also widespread.
Internet scams are common from the Philippines. It is not uncommon for people to first initiate pseudo personal relationships in order to borrow money that is never paid back.
In the case of alcohol consumption, e.g. at beach parties, sudden violence can break out and it can also lead to death.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- If you prefer cashless payments, do not leave your cards out of sight and only take the cash you need for the day and no valuables with you.
- Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, bus stations and on the bus, and watch out for your valuables.
- Keep doors and windows closed when driving a private car or taxi in town.
- If possible, only use official taxis or hotel taxis, make sure you use the taximeter or agree on the fare before you start your journey.
- Do not accept offers from strangers to tour tours and refuse to take luggage with you.
- Never leave food and drinks unattended and do not accept them from strangers.
- Be careful and cautious about alcohol consumption in company.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
Tropical storms and floods
There is a maritime tropical climate, especially in the southeast all year round with high humidity.
Every year an average of 20 typhoons move over the area of the Philippines, especially in the rainy season from June to December. There are locally violent, life-threatening storms and heavy rainfall that can trigger floods and landslides. Most recently, typhoons Rolly and Ulysses hit the Luzon region in November 2020, claiming more than 130 lives and causing considerable damage. The infrastructure and especially roads and bridges are regularly and severely damaged and become impassable.
Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis
The Philippines is located in a seismically very active zone, the ring of fire, so that earthquakes, seaquakes, volcanic activities and tsunamis can occur at any time.
Stronger earthquakes regularly cause considerable damage and claim fatalities.
Of numerous volcanoes, 53 are active. The highest of them is Mount Apo, which is almost 3000 meters high, the most active fire mountain is Mayon and the most dangerous is Pinatubo. The Taal is considered a super volcano. Danger levels and restricted areas often apply.
Volcanic eruptions and ash rain with effects on air traffic are possible at any time.
Infrastructure / traffic
Transport routes and tourist infrastructure may be affected due to measures related to the containment of COVID-19, see Current.
There is a domestic flight network, numerous ferry connections, intercity buses, some rail transport and taxi services.
Ferries are often overloaded, not always equipped with sufficient lifeboats, often inadequately maintained and relatively poorly secured. Other forms of public transport are also often overcrowded and poorly maintained.
Regardless of the fees contained in the transport ticket, there are often separate airport or seaport fees on site, which are usually to be paid in cash.
Road conditions across the country are generally poor. There is a lot of traffic in metropolitan areas. Vehicles that are often in poor technical condition and a lack of driving discipline represent an increased risk of accidents.
Travel destinations with a developed tourist infrastructure can be found in particular on individual islands of the Visayas archipelago (e.g. Cebu, Bohol). Information on approved tourist accommodation is available from the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Philippine Information Agency.
Cell phones have limited or no reception on some islands.
- Avoid traveling by ferry if other travel options exist.
- Do not use simple public transport.
- Take special care in the rainy season.
- Avoid driving at night.
- Inquire about possible additional charges at the carrier or at the airport or seaport.
The German driving license is sufficient for tourist stays of up to three months.
There are no legal restrictions against the rights of LGBTIQ people in the Philippines; however, there is no complete legal equality. Filipino family law does not recognize and does not recognize same-sex partnership / marriage.
Social acceptance is also well developed. Numerous openly homosexual fashion designers, actors and artists enjoy great social acceptance.
The death penalty was abolished in June 2006; reintroduction is occasionally discussed. Very high prison sentences are imposed for drug offenses, sexual offenses and, in particular, for child abuse and human trafficking. Prostitution is banned in the Philippines.
Illegal drug possession is punished in the Philippines with harsh prison sentences, from 5 grams life imprisonment is possible, in the event of an arrest in an airport or ferry port, an aggravating trafficking is imputed. The urgent warnings from the authorities should be heeded.
The Philippine government bans drinking alcohol on the street and smoking outside of designated smoking areas; violations can result in a fine or arrest. The penalties for violations are inconsistent, and foreigners in particular are held accountable for violations.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Philippine peso (PHP). ATMs are available nationwide, but it is recommended that you bring cash in US dollars or euros if you are visiting the province. Credit cards are a common method of payment, but cards from foreign banks are sometimes not accepted as a method of payment outside of reputable shops and hotels.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents should be valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay.
German citizens need a visa to enter the country. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines have suspended visas for foreigners until further notice, see Current.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI), Intramuros, Manila or a local BI regional office (e.g. in Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, Davao City, Iloilo, Pampanga, San Fernando, Tacloban) is responsible for extending a visa.
When foreigners leave the country, the Philippine immigration authorities ensure that the visa does not expire; in the event of violations, departure is only permitted after paying high fines and, if necessary, imprisonment.
A visa must be obtained in advance from the relevant Philippine diplomatic mission in order to start work or the like or to stay for a longer period of time. These proceedings are suspended until further notice due to the global COVID-19 pandemic
At the airport, grossly impolite behavior according to sociocultural understanding is sanctioned with refusal of entry, fines or imprisonment.
Children under the age of 15 traveling alone or accompanied by another person require a travel permit issued by the Philippine embassy in Berlin, in which the parents confirm that they agree to the trip. Recently, this regulation has been tightened. It is legally stipulated that a fee of PHP 3,120 can be charged upon entry and that the passport of the person concerned is retained at the airport until departure. The Bureau of Immigration and Deportation provides more information.
The import and export of PHP 50,000 and US $ 10,000 is permitted without registration.
Import bans exist in particular for
- night vision devices,
- Weapons, weapon parts and ammunition, even if they are only decorative (e.g. amulets in the form of weapons, which are offered everywhere),
- Subversive, obscene or pornographic materials and
- Medicines or medical devices used to perform an abortion.
To import animals, a permit must be obtained in advance from the Bureau of Animal Industry, which is valid for two to three months.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
Counterfeit rabies vaccines
In July 2019, the WHO published a reference to three counterfeit rabies vaccines (Verorab®, Speeda® and Rabipur®) and a counterfeit anti-rabies serum (Equirab®) in the Philippines.
- After the bite of an animal suspected of rabies, only get treated and vaccinated in trustworthy institutions, e.g. the large private hospitals in Manila, if possible.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area or staying for more than 12 hours in transit through a yellow fever area, all persons over the age of one year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. The Philippines itself is not a yellow fever infection area.
As of June 2019, cases of poliomyelitis (polio) with vaccine poliovirus have been documented in the Philippines. Travelers under 4 weeks of travel time should have full poliomyelitis vaccination with booster vaccinations every 10 years. For residents and long-term travelers over 4 weeks, according to the WHO, vaccination should be ensured 4 weeks to 12 months before departure, see information sheet on poliomyelitis.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A and polio are recommended as travel vaccinations, and for long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Zika virus infection
The predominantly diurnal AedesMosquito-borne infection with Zika viruses can lead to malformations in children during pregnancy and cause neurological complications in adults.
Dengue viruses become diurnal nationwide, especially during and shortly after the rainy season from April to October Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually associated with fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs and is increasingly affecting travelers as well. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see information sheet on dengue fever.
- To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Chikungunya viruses are diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is characterized by a high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptoms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without consequences; long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms rarely occur. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy, see leaflet Chikungunya fever.
- To avoid Chikungunya fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anopheles- Mosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous malaria tropica, in particular, is often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see Malaria leaflet.
- If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see your doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.
In the Philippines, there is a risk of malaria year-round, depending on the region. The risk is high on the island of Palawan and minimal risk in the rest of the country. Manila and other large cities are considered malaria-free, see Standing Committee on Travel Medicine (StAR) of the DTG.
To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:
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