Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to the Philippines. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers consult Smartraveller to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.


The most common problems are gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis and in Manila some slight respiratory problems caused by pollution. Other illnesses include typhoid, malaria, dengue fever, TB and hepatitis B. Vaccination certificates are not normally required.

Doctors and hospitals will often expect immediate cash payment for their services. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs are readily available in many drug stores – the largest drug store chain is Mercury Drug, most branches of which are open for 24 hours.