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Are the Philippines a Safe or Dangerous Country?The Philippines is the 104th country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. Manila is assessed as being a high-threat location. Crime remains a concern in urban areas throughout the country. Theft (including pickpocketing), robbery and credit card frauds are among the most common types of crime. Drink spiking in metropolitan pubs and bars common, travelers should never leave a drink unattended, nor accept drinks from strangers and do not visit that kind of places alone. Sporadically carjacking and violent assaults occur; and there are known incidents in which criminals have rear-ended the bumper of a targeted vehicle. At a time when a driver gets out of the vehicle in order to examine the damage, the offenders rob the driver and steal the car. Therefore, we advise to refrain from driving in a remote, dark streets of the outskirts of Manila, as most of such type of crime took place in these areas. Due to the increased frauds with credit cards, it is recommended to use credit cards only at major retail facilities and check a bank statement regularly.
Manila areas which are considered sketchy Neighborhoods
- Malate and Ermita in the center of Manila. The presence and high density of muggers, who dupe tourists regularly, make theses neighborhoods are very sensitive. We recommend to exercise constant vigilance and do not flash any valuables or banknotes with a high denomination.
- A criminal center and a place, which is better to avoid at any cost is Tondo. Slum, non-touristic area.
- Baclaran is a very touristic place and thanks to that, has a very high density of pickpockets and bag snatchers. Constantly keep an eye on your belongings.
The country’s most dangerous spots, where due to the safety concerns traveling is not permitted.
Jolo Province & Basilan ProvinceInfamously known for a high kidnapping level of tourists for ransom. Abu Sayayaf is a Muslim rebels group in charge of the kidnappings. They use these islands as a lair.
MindanaoCotabato province, where violent clashes between Muslims populations and government forces happen on a regular basis. A civilian could easily get caught in the crossfire. Due to the security reasons, traveling to the next regions is also prohibited: The Sulu Archipelago and the Suu Sea. The risks of sexual assault in the Philippines is moderate. In some incidents, the victims were drugged. SafeAround recommends to be vigilant, avoid poorly lit areas especially in the capital of the Philippines.
Other areas of concern:
- Another area of concern for newcomers who operate their own water craft is to encounter vessels operated by armed smugglers. Due to numerous uninhabited islands, criminal groups take an advantage on this and widely use it for storing illicit drugs and weapons for further illegal importation.
- Rabies is also common among street animals in the country. Be aware and vaccinated.
- Due to a spread of tuberculosis in the countryside, try to avoid individuals who cough and look weak.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
The criminal threat on the Philippines is high. Since recent years it significantly increased. It is ranked 104th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
As a frequently visited tourist destination, the risks of petty crimes exist, especially in the beach area and main touristic spots in the capital. However, in comparison with the pickpocket’s threat in Barcelona, it’s trifling. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
Mugging is an area of concern for newcomers, residents, and locals. Assaults and robberies are often all over the islands. Last year there were reported 22 kidnappings in the country, most often in Mindanao.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Vendors of the small shops may tell you that they have no change for a large currency bill (500 – 1000) and offer you to buy other goods, just to get an appropriate change. Be aware of that and try to have small bills at your disposal.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH
- Intolerant drivers speeding and reckless driving is a result of numerous fatalities on the roads. Flooding sometimes makes roads impassable.
- For travel around the city the safest and most convenient will be a taxi, however never use a taxi without meters, and usually, check that it is running. A good option will be to negotiate a price of a ride in advance.
- Traffic jams in the capital are the worst worldwide. Advance departure to the airport is recommended.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Among the top environmental hazards in the country are typhoons, floods, landlines, tsunamis. Volcanic eruptions are an area of concern.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Terrorism is a threat around the world. Risks of terrorism in the Philippines is high.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
In recent years’ rapes and sexual assaults became a problem in the Bahamas. Many rapes happened near the hotels and casinos. SafeAround advises to consume alcohol moderately and avoid being intoxicated in the public places. Being vigilant and avoiding poorly lit areas will significantly reduce the risks of being sexually assaulted.