Throughout the year, the government routinely issues travel advice and advisories warning Canadians of the potential risks posed in different parts of the world. Earlier today, Canada updated a travel warning urging travellers not to visit the Philippines and to use a high degree of caution, if they do.
The travel advisory was updated on Monday, May 6 at 11:10 AM ET. The advisory claims that natural disasters and climate are major reasons why Canadian travellers should be careful if they decide to travel to the Philippines.
Along with the danger of natural disasters, the threat of terrorism and high levels of crime are also reasons to be extremely cautious if you're travelling overseas to the Philippines.
They most recently removed information about the earthquakes from mid-April, which means it's currently no longer an issue.* The Philippines is located in an active seismic zone, which means there's a risk of volcanic activity and earthquakes. In addition, it is now officially monsoon season. The Philippines sees about 20 typhoons per year, mostly between June and November. Typhoons can damage roadways, bridges and you may see flooding and mudslides during the rainy weather.
The Government is specifically advising Canadians to avoid all travel to certain areas throughout Western and Central Mindanao due to "the serious threat of terrorist attacks, kidnapping" and for other reasons pertaining to violent crime.
Canadians should avoid the following provinces: Basilan, Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.
The Government of Canada is also advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to the following provinces in Eastern Mindanao: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Islands, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a travel health notice regarding Zika virus. Zika is currently a concern in South and Southeast Asia, so travellers should prepare accordingly and take extra precautions while travelling in an affected country.
According to the government agency, several terrorist groups are active in the Philippines. The groups have completed various attacks throughout the country, especially in Western Mindanao.
Travellers should be wary of government buildings, places of worship, airports, transportation hubs and touristy areas like restaurants, bars, shopping centres, hotels and more.
For more information on the Philippine's Travel Advisory, click here.
Editor's Note: Additional content has been added to this article.