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Old 28-10-2015, 02:31   #1
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Australian travel advisory for Philippines

First the text:

" In an update to its advisory, the Australian government said there was a very high threat of kidnapping in the southern Philippines, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations.

“Groups based in the Sulu Archipelago have demonstrated the capability to carry out attacks at locations around Mindanao and in eastern Malaysia. Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor,” it said.
It added that yachts and other vessels in the southern Sulu Sea transiting between Sabah, Malaysia and Palawan were also at risk.

But the Australian government maintained that the highest threat of kidnapping was along the Zamboanga peninsula and in the Sulu Archipelago.

Travelers who still want to visit coastal resorts around Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor should “exercise caution and ensure your hotel has appropriate security measures in place,” the government said.

Also, the Australian government advised its nationals to “avoid isolated coastal locations, especially after dark.”

“The Australian Government’s longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. The Australian Government considers paying ransoms increases the risk of further kidnappings. If you do decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, you should seek professional security advice and have effective personal security measures in place,” it said.

Source: October 28, 2015
newscentral.ph/top-story/australians-in-ph-warned-against-expanded-kidnap-threat-in-3-provinces/
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Old 28-10-2015, 02:50   #2
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Comments:

This advisory was generated in response to kidnappings from Samal Island near Davao, Mindanao.

Southern Palawan is mentioned mainly due to 2014 kidnapping of two German sailors off a remote area in Southern Palawan.

They did not name the spot in Southern Negros. However, it appears they mean Bonbonon Bay. There already has been talk on this site that if Samal could be hit, then it was possible for an attack at Bonbonon too.

Puerto Princesa Bay, midway up Palawan, is not exactly Southern Palawan. However, owing to the boldness of the attack at Samal, it is not possible to say it is 100% safe. In particular there is concern that the local coast guard would not seriously guard against an attack until after it has been demonstrated that an attack is possible.

One key difference is Puerto Princesa Bay is a large shipping port and, this port area has more 24/7 protection than Bonbonon. It might be argued it is more secure than the Cebu Yacht Club that directly fronts Mactan Channel with easy access to open sea to the North.

I know of no logical reason why Siquijor Island was mentioned. It is a rather small Island off the coast of Negros. While I have been there aboard my vessel, I do not know of others going there and there is no long term anchoring.

The sailing community nor the families of the currently kidnapped sailors have offered any rewards for information leading to arrests.
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Old 28-10-2015, 03:44   #3
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Opinion

The advisory is based on two specific incidents.

#1 The 2014 incident involved a sailor doing exactly what other sailors knew could make one a target. i.e. Stopping for a few days in an isolated area known to have a high Muslim population.

#2 Samal can be seen as collective wisdom overtaking simple logic. Logically Samal Island was a possible target where an attack could be planned and easy escape made. Owing to failing to recognize this, no one thought to put in place an action plan to immediately intercept a boat fleeing the scene.

Looking at the actual number of cases, and the situations involved, it is my opinion this is an overly alarmist advisory. There is NOT " a very high threat of kidnapping."

Further, we know travel between Malaysia and the islands South of Mindanao is not advisable. The advisory makes no mention of this known risk and claims a sailing route along which there have been no incidents is risky. Therefore, it appears the section of the advisory claiming travel to Palawan is a "risk" is an error.
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Old 28-10-2015, 05:36   #4
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Seems to be a pretty consistent message, worldwide.

PHILIPPINES - Exercise a high degree of caution

CanadaTravel advice and advisories for Philippines

USA ➥ Philippines Travel Warning
Messages to U.S. Citizens | Manila, Philippines - Embassy of the United States

UK ➥ https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/philippines

NZ ➥ https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/philippines
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Old 28-10-2015, 09:23   #5
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
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Old 28-10-2015, 11:18   #6
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

As big as the world is, why risk going there? Just saying!!
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Old 28-10-2015, 13:04   #7
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

No real reason to debate an "advisory". It is what it says it is. Everyone needs to do their own risk assessment.
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Old 28-10-2015, 14:22   #8
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

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Originally Posted by jholder51 View Post
As big as the world is, why risk going there? Just saying!!

Because it is a great place to visit and the risk is no greater tham most other places. Every city in the world has its No-Go area.
.
I have a home in Cebu and have first hand knowledge of how good the island hopping/cruising is around the Phillipines.

I live in Darwin. My next trip is DArwin-Kupang-Ujungpandan (via the eastern end of Flores)-Sandakan-Dumaguete-Cebu

I ahve cruising couple friends that have made their long stay destination near Dumaguete on Negros. Been there for years and ahve never felt unsafe.

Go to the Philippines...you will love it.
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:04   #9
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
First the text:

" In an update to its advisory, the Australian government said there was a very high threat of kidnapping in the southern Philippines, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations.

“Groups based in the Sulu Archipelago have demonstrated the capability to carry out attacks at locations around Mindanao and in eastern Malaysia. Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor,” it said.
It added that yachts and other vessels in the southern Sulu Sea transiting between Sabah, Malaysia and Palawan were also at risk.

But the Australian government maintained that the highest threat of kidnapping was along the Zamboanga peninsula and in the Sulu Archipelago.

Travelers who still want to visit coastal resorts around Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor should “exercise caution and ensure your hotel has appropriate security measures in place,” the government said.

Also, the Australian government advised its nationals to “avoid isolated coastal locations, especially after dark.”

“The Australian Government’s longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. The Australian Government considers paying ransoms increases the risk of further kidnappings. If you do decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, you should seek professional security advice and have effective personal security measures in place,” it said.

Source: October 28, 2015
newscentral.ph/top-story/australians-in-ph-warned-against-expanded-kidnap-threat-in-3-provinces/
That alert has been in place for years.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 28-10-2015, 17:25   #10
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Wow, I can't believe that there are boaters that would ignore these warnings and still want to head there. You really don't understand that your country's will now get you back or will they do any thing to get you out of there. You should all look this and what they do to kidnapped persons there. I remember that back some time ago, there were over 30 kidnapped and when we the, world found out there were less than 20 left. The country's were told by a person that escaped his capters that they were tortured, raped, sold, killed. If this is what your wishing to have done then by all means, head out there.
Me personally, NO way. I'll be avoiding any place that has kidnappings or murders of visitors, tourists. My life and friends lives are more important to me and to them, than visiting a dangerous place..
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Old 28-10-2015, 17:33   #11
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Do not worry there will always be those posters here who will say Asia is fantastic and safe and cheap. As if reading news was such a hard thing to do.

Not sure if this makes your lives easier but after a recent SAR helicopter accident between Canary Islands and Cabo Verde one of the assumed scenarios is the crew got hijacked too. This is on the route of the ARC and the ARC+. (They take off in a week).

It seems when piracy get thwarted here it pops up there. No end to good news.

Cheers,
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Old 28-10-2015, 18:16   #12
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by jholder51 View Post
As big as the world is, why risk going there? Just saying!!
because pool/billiards is it's national sport!! i now a few champions over there and looking forward to getting to it
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Old 28-10-2015, 20:14   #13
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

We have just been across the straight between Borneo and Palawan with no problems reported by any of the cruisers we encountered including the many in Puerto Princesa.
To limit the risk we never stay in the southern area anchorages longer than a night.
We will also avoid Mindanao.
In 10 years I have never heard of kidnapping risk on southern Negros, and we have been there often, so I don't know where that is coming from.
Now to answer why would you come to the Philippines?
We are now working our way up the Palawan north east coast on our way home to Subic Bay via Coron enjoying beautiful scenery, crystal clear water and friendly people.
I love this country and its people.
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Old 30-10-2015, 18:36   #14
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

I think Peter's post underlines the need for good local knowledge.
The yachting residents of the Philippines, have developed a much better awareness of trouble areas and how to transit them.

Same as you would any inner city or seedy port area.
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Old 30-10-2015, 21:03   #15
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Re: Australian travel advisory for Philippines

We appreciate the advisory but everyone has to make their own decision. We are finishing up re fit of our boat in Danao/Cebu and wanted to go south.
We are a German flagged vessel and lately our alert level has been raised from yellow to red. Our plan was to sail from Cebu to Negros to Puerto Princessa, Palawan to Brunei. Now what????
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