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Travel Notice for Mindanao, Philippines

14 February 2024

The Philippine Government declared Martial Law on the entire island of Mindanao on 23 May 2017 following clashes between government forces and a terrorist group in Marawi City. The Martial Law was lifted on 1 January 2020 while the state of national emergency in Mindanao was lifted in July 2023. Notwithstanding the lifting of Martial Law and the state of national emergency, travellers should note that there have been sporadic security incidents in the past few years such as bombings in Sulu in August 2020, in Cotabato City in January 2022, in Maguindanao in April 2022, in Koronadal City in May 2022 and in Marawi in December 2023 respectively.

Singaporeans travelling to or residing in the affected areas of Mindanao are strongly advised to take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, including monitoring the local news and heeding the instructions of the local authorities. Singaporeans should remain vigilant and where possible, avoid crowded places, public gatherings, and areas where there are ongoing police or security operations. Singaporeans should also purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage. Singaporeans are encouraged to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted should the need arise. Singaporeans are also advised to stay in touch with their families and friends so that they know you are safe. Those in need of urgent consular assistance should contact the Singapore Embassy in Manila or the 24-hour Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in the Philippines

505 Rizal Drive Bonifacio Global City Taguig
Tel: +63 2 8569922
Email: singemb_mnl@mfa.sg
Tel: +63 917 860 4740 (after office hours)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hour)
Tanglin, Singapore 248163
Tel: +65 6379 8800, +65 6379 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

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Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Travellers should refer to the ICA website for the latest information on travelling to/from or transiting through Singapore. For the latest updates on Singapore’s COVID-19 situation, please refer to the MOH website at https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19.


Singaporeans who wish to enter the Philippines should refer to the website of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore for information on the COVID-19 entry requirements. Singaporeans should also refer to the latest resolutions issued by the Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to find out more about the prevailing quarantine levels and restrictions in the Philippines. More information on the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines can be found at https://covid19.gov.ph/.

The latest Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) Circular on immigration guidelines can be assessed at the BI Facebook page

Singaporeans should also closely monitor the news and official announcements by both the Singapore and Philippine governments regarding the COVID-19 situation.

Singaporeans who require consular assistance may also contact the Singapore Embassy in the Philippines at the contact number provided below. Singaporeans already in the Philippines, be it for long-term or short-term  stays, are strongly encouraged to e-register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 
https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted should the need arise. They should closely follow the Singapore Embassy in Manila’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeEmbassyManila) to receive the latest consular‑related news and updates. 

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in the Philippines

Address: 505 Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, 1634 Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 8856 9922

Emergency Tel (after hours): +63 917 860 4740

Email: singemb_mnl@mfa.sg
URL: https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Manila


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hour)

Tanglin, Singapore 248163

Tel: +65 6379 8800; +65 6379 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg


Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore

Address: 20 Nassim Rd Singapore 258395

Tel: +65 6737 3977


Driving in the Philippines: Foreigners may use their valid foreign driver’s license in the Philippines within 90 days of arrival.  Conversion of foreign driver’s license to Philippine driver’s license is also allowed.

Please refer to the following links for more info:



Government services scams: When dealing with Philippine government transactions, please refrain from going through third parties or shady deals if only to bypass certain procedures.  Though tedious, going through proper channels would avoid unnecessary trouble with the authorities.

ATM fraud: There have been a few cases where ATM machines have been tampered with skimming machines to retrieve information and make unnecessary purchases.  It would be best to withdraw from machines found in banks or busy areas.

Casino scams: Casino-entertainment complexes in Manila have been on the rise in the country’s bid to boost its share in the gaming industry, as gambling in casinos is considered legal in the Philippines.  While it has its own regulating body, avoid contacting loan sharks to support these vices.  Some patrons may end up highly at risk due to their inability to pay them back. 

Taxi scams: There are recommended precautions for taking cabs in the Manila:

1.  Look for Taxi Stands

2.  Keep Your Belongings with You

3.  Only Use Easily Identifiable Taxis

4.  Stick with Metered Taxis

5.  Check for Door Handles

6.  Be Wary of Shared Cabs

7.  Know Emergency Contact Numbers

8.  Know Where You’re Going

9.  Avoid Traveling Alone

10. Advise Friends & Family of your Cab Details

11. Pay While in the Cab using Small Peso Notes / Exact Amount

12. Look Behind You Before Opening the Door


Drug offences including the importation and possession of recreational drugs are punishable by life imprisonment.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has promulgated regulations on cross-border transfer of local and foreign currencies since 13 February 2009, with revisions on 23 August 2016 and 26 May 2022, on the amount of local and foreign currencies that a traveller can carry into and out of the Philippines. Amounts in excess of BSP’s limits require prior written authorisation from BSP before the importation or exportation of such currencies. Travelers should refer to the Foreign Exchange Regulations by BSP and the Philippine Embassy in Singapore for the latest information on currency restrictions for the Philippines.

Typhoons entering the Philippines could easily hit more than 10 a year.  The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), had warned the public that more typhoons are possible in the last quarter of the year due to La Nina.  Travellers should follow PAGASA’s Tweets or Facebook page for weather advisories. 

Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Manila. In the past year, 215 earthquakes (M1.5 or greater) have been tracked. Most have occurred to the south of Metro Manila.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 5 February 2024]

Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 regulations.

Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.


For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

  • Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
  • Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
  • eRegister with us on our website (www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

While travelling

  • Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
  • Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
  • Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrest or terror attacks.
  • Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
  • In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

Advisory: Email Scams

There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport numbers, address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

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