The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated June 14, 2012, and reflects continuing threats in those areas due to terrorist and insurgent activities.
U.S. citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there.
U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to the island of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. Throughout Mindanao, criminal groups have clashed sporadically with the Philippine Armed Forces, particularly in rural areas, and terrorist groups have kidnapped international travelers and carried out bombings that have resulted in injuries and deaths. Following the conclusion of a framework agreement between the principal insurgent group in Mindanao and the government, negotiations on a roadmap toward a comprehensive peace agreement are ongoing. In Cotabato City, and in the Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, the government maintains a state of emergency that compels a greater police presence in those areas.
Read the full message at travel.state.gov.
For more than 23 years, Steve was an intelligence community professional who traveled and lived throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America. He now uses his experiences and formal training to help people overcome their reluctance to travel by giving them the solid, reliable information they can use to plan effectively, reduce risk, react to danger, and return home safe.