Australia warns against travel to Philippines following terror attack

Peter Terlato 5 September 2016

Travel Warning

The Mindanao region is especially dangerous.

A terrorist attack in the Philippines late last week has led local authorities to declare "a state of lawlessness", forcing the Australian Government to update its travel advice for the southeast Asian nation.

The attack, which occurred in Davao City on 2 September, killed 14 people and injured more than 70 others.

Over the weekend, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared "a state of lawlessness" throughout the southern Mindanao region. This allows troops to be deployed in city areas to assist police and emergency services establish checkpoints and boost patrols.

While military activity in certain areas of the country has increased, the President said the declaration did not impose martial law.

"These are extraordinary times and I supposed that I'm authorised to allow the security forces of this country to do searches," Duterte told reporters in his hometown of Davao City on Friday.

"There is a crisis in this country involving drugs, extrajudicial killings and there seems to be an environment of lawless violence."

Via its Smartraveller website, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warned travellers to expect an increased police presence across the Philippines, including police checkpoints.

A high degree of caution is advised for travellers to all areas of the Philippines, while visitors to eastern Mindanao have been told to reconsider their need to travel and parts of central and western Mindanao are no-go zones.

It isn't just terror attacks that are detrimental to tourism in the Philippines. DFAT warns there is a very high threat of kidnapping, violent crime, clashes between armed groups and frequent natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods and landslides.

Early last month, DFAT issued similar advice for Aussies travelling to Thailand after two bombs were exploded in the seaside resort of Hua Hin.

Visitors to Singapore have also been warned of potential health risks associated with the ongoing transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

If you're planning a trip to the Philippines, be sure to check out our essential guide to selecting the right type of travel insurance for your holiday.

Picture: Shutterstock

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