Philippines Risk Assessment Country Guide

Expat Life in Philippines

The Southeast Asian nation of the Philippines is a diverse, populous country with over 96 million residents. More than 7,000 islands comprise the region's land mass, at nearly 300,000 square kilometers. The region is susceptible to earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions, and specialized insurance is vital for life in the Philippines.

The political climate in the country is relatively unstable. Armed clashes occur sporadically. Political assassinations have increased significantly in the last decade, often endangering journalists and foreign envoys.

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration has also advised all foreign nationals from partaking in rallies and mass protests. Violation could result in deportation. 

On April 21, 2016, the State Department issued a travel warning for the Philippines. They warn travelers to avoid all non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago and through the southern Sulu Sea, and to exercise extreme caution when traveling to the island of Mindanao, due to continued terrorist threats, insurgent activities, and kidnappings.

Given the risks of living in the Philippines, taking out specialty international insurance is recommended. A high level of coverage will help control the costs of life overseas.

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

On May 26, 2015, the CDC issued a level 1 watch for Philippines due to the increase of reported cases of measles with 320 confirmed cases and 2 deaths in 2015. In 2014, there were 21,420 confirmed cases and 110 deaths from measles in the Philippines. The CDC advises travelers to be vaccinated against measles before traveling abroad to the Philippines.  

Most major cities across the Philippines provide adequate medical care. However, these standards are different than those of the US and the UK, and the costs could be high. The availability of treatment is lower in remote areas, or altogether not available. Diseases like malaria and rabies are relatively common, so proper safety protocols should be followed.

Clements Worldwide offers GlobalCare® health insurance coverage. This policy includes USD 5 million in health care benefits, and allows you to choose any number of doctors across the world. Clements coverage enables flexible payment plans, choice of deductible and optional War and Terrorism coverage. This extends your policy to include illness or injury caused by an act of war and terrorism.

If you need to leave the Philippines to receive appropriate medical care, Clements provides a Medical Evacuation and Repatriation policy. This covers expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Philippines.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

With the current political climate in the Philippines, foreign nationals should avoid all demonstrations or large gatherings of people. These events should not be participated in, and doing so is often a violation of immigration laws. 

On October 1, 2015, unknown militants placed an explosive device on a motorcycle taxi and denoted it at a convoy carrying the vice mayor of Isabela City, Abdubaki Ajibon. The blast killed the driver, a passenger, and two others. The vice mayor was unhurt. 

When traveling via the roadways in the Philippines, care should be taken using public transportation. Safety standards are low for buses, taxis and boats. In addition, road conditions can deteriorate quickly due to weather, and the rainy season often brings flash floods and landslides. Clements offers international car insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad. An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest. 

There is a high risk of piracy and armed robbery near Philippine waters. With Clements, you can have Maritime Security insurance. This coverage ensures compliance with BIMCO insurance requirements and GUARDCON standards that will achieve cost savings, better coverage, and more efficient policy administration.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Philippines.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

The Philippines is highly susceptible to terrorism and kidnapping throughout the country. Attacks could happen anywhere at any time, and targets include public places like airports, shopping malls and transportation.

On October 30, 2016 the Abu Sayyaf jihadist terror group killed at least 8 soldiers in Patikul, Philippines.

On October 21, 2016 the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State Kidnapped a Korean ship captain and worker.

On September 2, 2016, the militant Islamic group Abu Sayyaf carried out a bombing that targeted a market in Davao City, Southern Philippines. In the attack, 14 people died and 70 people were injured.

On August 23, 2016, at least 5 Philippine troops were killed in clashes with an ISIS-linked group in three towns.

On August 9, 2016, 4 Abu Sayyaf militants were killed in clashes with members of the Moro National Liberation Front in the southern province of Sulu.

On August 5, 2016, at least two soldiers were wounded during a clash between government troops and suspected New People's Army rebels in Monkayo, in the Compostela Valley.

On July 14, 2016, gunmen killed 3 marine soldiers while they were procuring provisions near Manilop. 

On June 22, 2016 in Mindanao, three people were executed by ISIS in their self-proclaimed state on an island.

On June 13, 2016, a Canadian hostage was executed by a terrorist group connected to Al-Qaeda after he was abducted along with two others, the second execution of a Canadian in a short time period in the Philippines.

On May 30, 2016, an Islamic militant group executed 2 mill workers during an attack, and 56 of them were killed.

On April 9, 2016, at least 18 soldiers were killed and 52 injured in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants and allied gunmen in Basilan Island, Philippines. 

On February 22, 2016, two attackers on motorcycles threw two grenades into a crowd. The attack in the town of Esparanza wounded 38 people and killed a 6 year old child.

On December 24, 2015 in Mindanao, 150 militants from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) raided several locations in southern Philippine island of Mindanao, including the town of Tukuran. The militants have reportedly abducted at least seven Christian farmers and killed them. The attack was confirmed BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama.

On December 12, 2015 near Mabini, militants planted a land mine-styled explosive device and detonated it on a group of Philippine soldiers patrolling on a road near Mibani town in southern Philippines. The blast killed three: two soldiers and a civilian, another 14 were wounded. Attack was attributed to New People's Army.

In September 2013, Philippines security forces and militants clashed in Zamboanga city. Fighting continues, and the city's airport has closed. The FCO advise against all travel to this region. Skirmishes between military and insurgent groups also occur near the Sulu archipelago, including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo, and the situation remains unstable.

Since November 2011 there have been multiple terrorist attacks in the nation. Bombing incidents have occurred in North Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sulu, Sultan Kudurat and Zamboanga. In August 2013, a suspected car bomb in Cotabato City killed at least 8 people and injured more than 30. In July 2013, an explosion at a restaurant killed at least 8 others and injured more than 40 people.

While kidnapping is a risk all across the Philippines, the Southern portion of the country is particularly dangerous. Foreigners have been kidnapped in rural, urban and coastal regions.

On August 25, 2016, a teenage hostage was executed after his family was unable to pay a ransom of one million pesos.

In February 2012, two people were kidnapped from Parangan in the Tawi Tawi province. Zamboanga in Mindanao is also considered a high-risk area.

Clements provides a Kidnap and Ransom policy, which ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, arrangement and delivery of funds.

With Clements, you can also have War and Terrorism insurance. This extension is available for a number of policies, and it offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting, and acts of terrorism.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Philippines.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions