Philippines Travel Information
Large parts of the Philippines are in "lockdown" as a
result of infection control measures against the
coronavirus. The situation is evolving and may change.
Travelers are advised to keep up to date. For more
information on coronavirus and travel restrictions - see
the section on Health.
An increasing number of Norwegians visit the
Philippines every year and the vast majority of visits
go without drama. However, crime, accidents, armed
conflicts and natural disasters make it important to be
alert and take the necessary precautions.
There is a not insignificant risk of being subjected
to criminal acts in the Philippines, including: because
of great poverty and widespread street crime. Travelers
should exercise caution and caution. There are many
firearms in circulation, and foreigners are especially
prone to robbery and theft. Valuables should be kept
hidden and money should be spent discreetly. The
penalties for dealing with drugs are very strict. The
same applies to child abuse. Norway has no extradition
agreement with the Philippines.
Unfortunately, traffic accidents often occur. At some
of the entryways to Manila, the speed is very high and
the traffic is not clear. In the provinces,
infrastructure can be poor and part of the year the
accessibility is reduced. Road lighting is very limited
and several vehicles do not use light. It is recommended
to prioritize road safety when choosing a vehicle.
Always wear seat belts!
Local buses are often in poor condition. Sea
transport can be risky as Philippine ferries are often
overcrowded, lack the necessary life-saving equipment
and are poorly maintained. Storms can blow up quickly.
There is a danger of piracy and kidnapping in Philippine
waters, especially in the south. It is recommended to be
cautious about using a taxi as there are cases of doping
and robbery of passengers. The risk can be reduced by
taking a taxi from one of the better hotels where the
car numbers are written up by the hotel's doorman.
- Countryaah: Manila is the capital
of Philippines. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
The Philippines has several ongoing armed conflicts,
as well as areas of limited degree of government
control. On May 23, 2017, the Philippine President
declared a state of emergency throughout Mindanao.
Terrorist actions occur. Scattered terrorist groups have
the capacity and willingness to strike innocent people.
Attacks are usually targeted, but can hit more randomly.
In recent years, there have been several cases where
foreigners have been kidnapped. The risk is particularly
high in southwestern Mindanao and on the Sulu
archipelago, including the surrounding waters. However,
kidnappings also occur elsewhere in the Philippines.
In August 2018, the Philippine authorities
specifically warned of a credible threat of risk of
kidnapping on Palawan.
The Philippines is prone to several types of natural
disasters. During the humid period, which can last from
June to the end of December, there are regular typhoons
and tropical storms that can have wind gusts of over 200
km/h. The typhoon warning systems have become very good,
and via satellite you can usually track the typhoons for
a few days before they hit land and calculate
approximate trajectory and strength. Floods and
landslides can also occur - especially during the rainy
season. The Philippines is constantly exposed to
earthquakes and has active volcanoes. An earthquake in
the Philippines or in surrounding areas also presents a
risk of tsunamis.
Norwegian citizens who stay for a shorter or longer
period in the Philippines are encouraged to register at
Reiseregistrering.no so that we can reach out with
important information should this become necessary.
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid
travel insurance. Good travel insurance will cover,
among other things, expenses related to injuries,
accidents, illness, home transport and death.
If you are in the vicinity of a disaster area - or
believe that relatives will call you, you should seek to
inform these and/or the Norwegian authorities about your
situation as soon as possible. This is true even if you
have not been particularly affected by the disaster.
The Embassy in Manila can be contacted by phone +63 2
317 2700 or e-mail [email protected]
Outside the embassy's opening hours, the public can
contact the UD's 24-hour operating center on telephone
+47 23 95 00 00 or e-mail [email protected]
Furthermore, Norwegian citizens are advised to stay
abreast of any possible crisis through Philippine media
and to follow instructions from local authorities,
police and security forces.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian citizens do not need a visa to stay in the
Philippines for up to 30 days.
Upon arrival the Philippines is granted Norwegian
citizens entry to present a valid return ticket or air
ticket to a third country within 30 days (travelers who
are going to a visa-required third country may also be
required to present a valid visa to the next destination
in addition to the air ticket). When applying to the
Embassy of the Philippines in Oslo, you can apply for a
tourist visa for a 59 day stay.
There is a requirement from the Philippine
authorities that a valid ticket out of the Philippines
(return or onwards ticket) must be brought in to check
in for flights to the Philippines. Some airlines refuse
boarding if this cannot be shown.
It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure
that travel documents and visas are valid.
The embassy has been notified by Philippine
immigration authorities that it is no longer possible to
pay a fine for translating a visa's validity period to
the immigration authorities at the airport before
departure. Valid stays must therefore be arranged well
in advance of scheduled departure, otherwise departure
will be denied.
If you stay for more than six months, you must first
apply for the Emigration Clearance Certificate with the
Philippine immigration authorities.
For more information contact the
Embassy of the Philippines in Oslo at: Embassy of the
Nedre Vollgate 4, 4th Floor
Tel: + 47 22 40 09 00
Fax: + 47 22 41 74 01
Other useful sites:
- Department of Foreign Affairs.
- Bureau of Immigration.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Large parts
of the Philippines are in "lockdown" as a result of
anti-coronavirus infection measures. This means, among
other things, very large restrictions on local
transport. Travelers are advised to follow information
from local authorities. Quarantine regulations and
travel restrictions may change at short notice. More
information about the coronavirus in the Philippines can
be found on the website of the Philippine health
Updated information on travel restrictions for the
Philippines can be found on the Bureau of Immigration
website. Travelers are also encouraged to contact the
flight and travel agency for updated information on
scheduled travel. Philippine authorities have stated the
following rules for visas to the Philippines:
- A foreign national whose visa is expiring within
the quarantine period may opt to file for extension
within 30 days of lifting the ECQ without penalties.
- Holders of valid 9th visas should be allowed to
enter the country if they are exempted from the
- OCA-Visa can accept renewal applications for 9e
visas expiring within the ECQ.
- All visa waiver arrangements are temporarily
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
coronavirus. See also helsenorge.no's advice.
Philippine authorities state that the requirement to
be able to present a plane ticket/booking on a foreign
flight within 24 hours of entry to any Philippine
international airport or port has been lifted for
It should be noted that domestic flight offers are
now very limited and that the situation for scheduled
flights can change rapidly.
For travelers wishing to travel to international
airports with a view to departing from the Philippines,
the following information from the Philippine
authorities is particularly noteworthy:
According to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)
Resolution No. 15 stranded foreign travelers should be
freely hired to the airport, see below:
«Outbound and repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
and stranded foreign nationals shall be granted free and
unimpeded access to and from national government
facilities, such as airports, ferries, bus terminals,
etc., notwithstanding any LGU pronouncement to the
contrary. The said free access will extend to the
vehicles carrying the aforementioned individuals in
order for them to reach their final destination. No fee
or any other requirement shall be imposed by LGUs in
this regard. "
Especially about the Embassy's public
services: Infection protection measures in the
Philippines impose major restrictions on freedom of
movement and for what public services the Embassy can
offer. Regular applications for passports and DNA
testing will unfortunately not be accepted until further
Issuance of emergency passports will still be carried
out if necessary, but it can be challenging for the
traveler to visit the embassy.
The embassy gives priority to helping Norwegian
travelers, and priority is given to acute and serious
cases. Due to limited staffing and at times high demand
on the switchboard, Norwegian citizens are encouraged to
contact the embassy by email ([email protected]),
alternatively by phone: +63 (0) 2 5317 2700.
Special information on quarantine
regulations : The Philippine government
introduced new comprehensive anti-contamination
measures, "Enhanced Community Quarantine," for the
entire Luzon (the northernmost main island of the
Philippine Archipelago and for the island provinces of
Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) from midnight
March 16. This is extended until May 15 and now applies
to the following areas: National Capital Region (NCR),
Central Luzon (except Aurora), CALABARZON, Pangasinan,
Benguet, Baguio City, Iloilo Province, Cebu Province and
Cebu City, as well as Davao City.
" Enhanced Community Quarantine " -
essentially means a strict home quarantine for everyone.
Large restrictions on freedom of movement have been
introduced - people are required to stay home with the
exception of one person per household who is allowed to
go out to buy food and medicines. Access to food and
medicines - "essential necessities" - is regulated.
It is mandatory to use a home office for large parts
of the public and private sectors. Exceptions are
provided for the private sector, which is defined as
"basic needs". The health service, the police and the
armed forces are still operational.
If businesses are kept open, only key personnel
should be employed.
Public transport ("mass public transport") is
suspended. Large restrictions have been placed on the
use of private vehicles, with the exception of
government vehicles, emergency vehicles and doctors.
Goods transport is maintained.
Mayors and barangay captains (leaders of the smallest
administrative and political unit in the Philippines)
are given broad powers to ensure that the quarantine is
complied with and the duty to follow up.
Quarantine switches can be arrested and prosecuted.
There is a significant presence of police and military
forces in the street scene, and they also staff many of
the checkpoints created for infection prevention
The rest of the country begins the "General
Community Quarantine" (GCQ) in May. If the
number of Covid-19 cases does not increase, GCQ in areas
defined as low risk could be lifted after May 15.
As of May 16, only the Inter-Agency Task Force for
the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)
has the authority to impose, lift or extend quarantine
in provinces, cities and urban areas.
During both ECQ and GCQ, larger gatherings of people
are prohibited. Likewise, all providers of sports and
leisure activities must still remain closed.
Other measures under GCQ:
- Children and young people (0-20 years) and
people over 60 are still not allowed to go out.
- Still reduced public transport.
- A certain reopening of private businesses - up
to 50 percent of the workforce is allowed back to
work at any given time.
- Schools re-open at the earliest in September,
online education is recommended.
- Sea ports and airports are reopening in GCQ
areas, but it is currently unclear to what extent
this applies to passenger traffic.
- All activity still requires that social distance
- Most shops/shopping centers must still remain
The entire country is set in a "State of National
Emergency" pursuant to Congress's resolution of special
legislation, The Bayanihan - to Heal as One Act,
of March 24.
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to abide by
the advice and orders of the Philippine authorities.
Rabies are found throughout the Philippines. For more
information on rabies see the website of the Norwegian
Institute of Public Health. In 2019, the WHO announced
that fake rabies vaccines are in circulation in the
Philippines. For more information on this, including
advice from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health,
see the FHI website.
In Manila, there is a good selection of private
hospitals and medical services today, and only
exceptionally, transfer to treatment in other countries
will be necessary. Outside of Manila and the big cities,
however, the offer is much more varied. Medical
treatment in the Philippines can be expensive, and it is
strongly recommended to take out travel insurance.
The standard of hospitals and medical services has
significantly improved in recent years. In Manila, there
is today a large selection of private doctors and
dentists, many with some or all of their education from
abroad (especially the United States). The public health
service has a low standard. Philippine hospitals
generally have poor access to blood. The medicine
selection at large pharmacies is relatively good. Both
medical treatment and international branding can be very
Insects, especially mosquitoes, can be troublesome,
and insect bites can become infected. Dengue fever, a
virus that transmits mosquito bites, is found all over
the Philippines. There have been cases of zika virus in
the Philippines. Malaria mosquitoes occur to a limited
extent (primarily in jungle areas), and it is
recommended to take malaria tablets when traveling to
these areas. Anti-mosquito cream can be purchased
locally, or taken with you from Norway.
Cots should be equipped with insect nets, which can
be purchased locally. Rabies are found throughout the
Philippines. For more information on rabies see the
website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Be prepared for hot climates. Use high sunscreen to
protect the skin. Drink plenty of water to avoid
dehydration. It is recommended to drink bottled water.
Check the seal on bottles. Air pollution is a problem in
Manila. Especially young children are at risk.
Hygiene conditions in the Philippines must be
considered relatively good. However, some foreigners
experience gastrointestinal infections, but these are
not usually of a serious nature.
It is recommended to seek advice from a physician
well in advance of departure to clarify vaccination
needs. See also the website of the Norwegian Institute
of Public Health for updated information.
The Philippines is more western oriented than most
other countries in the region. English works well in
cities, and is also the language most commonly used in
central administration and in business. In the
districts, Tagalog or local languages and dialects are
often used - there are over 100 in total.
The current is 220 volts, but 110 volt outlets are
also common. The sockets are of American type (two flat
plugs). Some electrical outlets are of the universal
type with support for European plugs, but it is
advisable to bring an adapter.
There is mobile coverage in most of the country,
including mobile data networks. The quality of the
networks varies, and one can experience poor connection
even though the phone appears to be in full coverage.
Visa, Diners, Mastercard, American Express are
accepted in major cities. These can also largely be used
when withdrawing local currency at an ATM. Larger
amounts can be withdrawn at the international banks.
Banks are usually open from 9am to 7pm 3 pm, but is
closed Saturday and Sunday. Stores are open every day
from 6pm. 10am to 6pm. 21:00. Opening hours for public
offices are at 8am to 6pm. 17:00.
Emergency telephone: Police 117
The time difference to Norway is + six hours
summertime and + seven hours winter time.
Possession and use of any kind of drug, even small
quantities, is strictly prohibited and can be punishable
by long prison sentences. Filipino laws against
pedophilia are very strict. Acc. Philippine law is a
person under the age of 18 to count as a child. Single
male travelers should exercise caution in dealing with
"friendly" strangers with children, as allegations of
child abuse and/or rape may be made in attempted
Norway has no extradition agreement with the