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Travel Warning: Philippines

Originally released March 23, 2005, this information is current as of Thursday, June 02, 2005. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid a certain country.

This Travel Warning is being issued to recommend that Americans consider carefully the risks of travel to the Philippines. Terrorist groups, including Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf Group, and radical elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are planning multiple attacks throughout the Philippines. This information has been also released by Philippine government officials and is in the Philippine media. This Travel Warning replaces the Public Announcement for the Philippines dated February 18, 2005.

The Department urges Americans who choose to travel to the Philippines to observe vigilant personal security precautions; to remain aware of the continued potential for terrorist attacks against Americans, U.S. or other Western interests in the Philippines, and to register with the U.S. Embassy. The Department warns against all but essential travel throughout the country in light of a heightened threat to Westerners. There has recently been an increase in bombings by the terrorist groups in Manila, the region of Mindanao, and other areas where terrorist groups are active. Bombs have exploded in shopping malls, on public transportation, at airports and port facilities, in places of worship, and in other public areas resulting in numerous casualties, including several deaths. Bombs have also been found at places of worship. Travelers should be aware that since security has increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists could seek softer targets. Such targets could include but are not limited to places where Americans and other Westerners live, congregate, shop or visit, including hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, identifiably Western businesses, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or public recreation events.

Americans who remain in the Philippines are strongly encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. The U.S. Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 632-528-6300. The Consular American Citizen Services (ACS) section's fax number is 632-522-3242 and the ACS web page is at http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/rp1/wwwhmain.html.

Americans can obtain information on travel and security in the Philippines from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States; or 202-501-4444 from overseas.

US citizens should also consult the recent Public Announcement for the Philippines, the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for the Philippines and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, located at http://travel.state.gov/ to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Philippines.

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