U.S. Updates Travel Advisory For This Popular Holiday Destination In Asia

U.S. Updates Travel Advisory For This Popular Asian Holiday Destination

The US State Department has updated its Travel Advisory for the Philippines on account of worries related to Marawi City and Sulu Archipelago. 

Acts of terrorism, kidnapping and civil unrest have prompted the North American government to alert its citizens about the risks associated with traveling to these areas.

The Philippines is still ranked at “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution,” meaning the country is safe to visit as long as you practice common sense. However, not the entire territory ranks at the same level. 

  • You must “reconsider travel” to Marawi City in Mindanao (except Davao City, Davao del Norte Province, Siargao Island, and the Dinagat Islands), due to terrorism, crime, kidnapping and civil unrest. 

There’ve been combats between military personnel and remaining members of a terrorist group. Innocent bystanders can face death or injury due to these clashes.

Other areas of Mindanao are also dangerous due to the same reasons.

  • You must not travel to the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea because of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

Armed and terrorist groups operating in these areas kidnap tourists and other citizens for ransom. Even US security personnel have fallen victim to these illegal organizations. Attacks can occur onshore and in the sea.

In all cases presented above, the US government declares itself unable to provide you with reasonable or any assistance if you get into trouble in any of these territories. 

As a foreign country, America is required to ask for legal permission to travel to these areas and in many cases, it is not granted.

Violent crime is also prevalent across the Philippines. Pickpocketing can become violent and you can be physically attacked. Also, unscheduled protests can result in traffic jams and road closures.

The Philippines is making clear efforts to reinforce its military forces through international cooperation agreements.

Some weeks ago, Filipino President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to boost military ties between the two nations.

Germany has been training Filipino soldiers since 1974. One of the oldest military cooperations in the world.

In the same vein, Marcos inked a new agreement with the Australian government on maritime security a few weeks ago.

If you decide to travel to the Philippines, make sure to be aware of all local news to plan your days accordingly. 

Also, avoid demonstrations and large gatherings and do not do drugs.

If, for any reason, you have to travel to the areas where the US State Department advises you against traveling, make sure to leave your things “solved” back home and consult with local security organizations about key information that can help you have a safer trip.