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Old 02-09-2016, 10:59   #1
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Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

Just came across this article about the new Philippino President.

Philippine president declines to meet UN chief | TRT World

So...........will his approach to drugs and crime make it more safe or less safe for cruisers stopping off in the Philippines? Admittedly I know nothing about the current safety status of the area or how this will change it, just thought I'd pass it along.

Whay say you?
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:19   #2
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
What say you?
I don't know for sure, and fortunately I won't be close to there for about 2 years, but if I was close, I think I would stay clear until "the dust settles".
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:27   #3
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Just came across this article about the new Philippino President.

Philippine president declines to meet UN chief | TRT World

So...........will his approach to drugs and crime make it more safe or less safe for cruisers stopping off in the Philippines? Admittedly I know nothing about the current safety status of the area or how this will change it, just thought I'd pass it along.

Whay say you?
Just spoke to an old Army buddy that moved to Manila years ago, bought a nice home, married a nice local girl. He says he's never felt as safe as he and his family do now. Seems the bad guys might be taking the new President seriously? or their dead/and or have a target on them?
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:21   #4
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

While I was in Thailand, the PM gave the police special dispensation to shoot drug dealers without a trial. They responded with enthusiasm, and the place was littered with bodies for a while. Turns out the main drug dealers WERE the police, and they took the opportunity to eliminate both their competition and those who could testify against them. I felt fairly safe, because the open season did not extend to tourists and I chose girly bars instead of druggy bars.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:35   #5
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

I have only been there once with the Military in 2003 for about 3 weeks. We came in by ship to Manila Bay, we took a bus to fort Magsaysay and then spent 6 days on a resort at the Old Clark Air base, now the Clark "economic zone",

I thought the country was beautiful and the people were very friendly.........(except for the known threat of abu sayyaf against us and the occasional town that had "Go home GI" spray painted on buildings. Other then that I would love to go back as long as it was reasonably safe to bring the family.
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Old 02-09-2016, 19:44   #6
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

Don't know about the current President's anti drug campaign but there are areas in the South that you shouldn't go to. Muslim insurgency, bandits, freedom fighters bloody sadists or whatever you want to call them are concentrated in the south. The rest of the country is reasonably safe as long as you don't mess with stuff that will get you in trouble anywhere you go. Ask the locals, they know where it's safe.

It's too early to tell how the heavy handed anti drug program will work out. Short term, the various drug gangs are using the opportunity to gun down there rivals and consolidate their markets. Whether it will result in actual reduction in crime is yet to be seen.
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Old 02-09-2016, 19:56   #7
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

This thread I started a few weeks ago has many comments on the current or recent safety issues for foreigners in the Philippines.

Since that thread was posted, hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been killed in the Philippines (widely reported) in extrajudicial killings, encouraged and condoned by the new president.

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Old 02-09-2016, 22:30   #8
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

I don't think this will make it more dangerous for cruisers. Overall the president has ramped up police and military efforts to fight drugs and hopefully terrorism. We have been in 18 countries in the past 3 months and nowhere has had the police presence that the Philippines have. We walked last night around several blocks and must have seen no less than 30 heavily armed officers, checking bags etc. As for cruising I think I would not feel so safe with the Muslim extremist situation still going on.

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Old 03-09-2016, 11:20   #9
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

The problem with the rebels goes back to the time I was there sailing ( eons ago, BTW) and as long as you stay in the north, OK. Avoid the south. The Sulu sea isn't much better, lots of pirate activity. If you are headed to Singapore, you have precious few really safe near the coast routes.
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:08   #10
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

GBrian here from yacht stella, i am resident of port barton, north west palawan ,philipines
If you come here i run kiwi lodge and welcome all cruisers, i dont make money off cruisers just enjot the visits, i still cruise the philipines and travell a lot down to kudat , sabah borneo,
I was in kudat when the new president was sworn in, i am a fan, mainly because he seems in touch with many of the basic problems in this country, not just the drugs, but also the stranglehold the catholic church has on this country, the drama that people go through just to do normal stuff like trying to register a vehicle, renewing a passport, paying a tax, getting some minor permit for somthing, without having to pay some official a bribe to get the process through, the bribes that cruisers pay just to do a normal clearance that is supposed to be free, just to let you know that puerta princessa is squeaky clean, imigration and customs, never heard of any qurantine here, they use this threat in other places to get bribes, i have heard cebu has also cleaned up but dont trust me on that.
I was at abanico yacht club more than a month ago in puerto princessa, there were very few yachts there, the usual suspects, i visited there again while in city on friday to breakfask with a kiwi boat, i couldnt belive the differance, the anchorage was full, i know more yachts come north in the sw monsoon, but these yachts had come from all directions,
I know there have been rumors from cruisers that, the border to malaysia is closed and they are not letting yachts through, its not true, when i returned from kudat going north to palawan i was boarded and searched by malaysian coast guard, but more out of concern for my safety, and to let me know they are listning on radio, also was visited by philipine navy , but no boarding they know yacht stella,
My general feeling is that things will be much better under the new president, certainly the crime rate will be down, having said that there was a bombing in davao yesterday by the abu sayaf , this will only make the president more determind to wipe them out,
This is a great cruising destination, and generaly safer than many other places i have been, i regard it much safer than thailand by cruising yacht, also the boat can stay indefinately,.
Arm yourself with comon sense when dealing with local people, never be insulting, never drink alcohol with locals, smile even when you dont want to, dont try to be too mean when bartering, most dont have much, come and enjoy some of the most beatifull islands in the world, my email is b.tennant@xtra.co.nz if you want to know more
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:18   #11
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

We lived and worked there, in Subic Bay, for over 10 years, and went sailing all the time. Once each year my wife and I(just the 2 of us) would take our boat out for a 7-8 week "tour", going as far south as Palawon and as far SE as Cebu. We were often rthe only boat in the harbor....or the only boat around. We never had an issue, never had problem one. We left in Dec 2010, but there is no reason I can think of NOT to go to the PI. The cruising was spectacular, the people friendly, the water clear, and the coral alive. The only issue we ever had was fisherman coming up fast on us in their banca boats.....because we were headed towards their unmarked fishing nets! But we did avoid the Sulu Sea, Mindinao, and the southern 1/3 of the country!
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:34   #12
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

The way I see it (mostly via the Guardian's eyes) is that the guy is not so much dealing with drug dealers as getting rid of his political opponents.

So, should this take be correct, the news is bad for cruisers, as there would be less stability there soon.

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Old 03-09-2016, 19:53   #13
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

Hi. I have be cruising the Philippines waters for near a year so far. First I like to say it is gorgeous. In all this time I never feel threated. Phiipino people is very friedy. In all this time I never lock my boat or my dinguy. I have sail in many places. There are a problem in the South and in the Zulu see. Ok this problem in hundred years old. Once we know there are a problem there I do not see any reason to go there. For me Mindanao is a no go area. But this Island and the near ones make my be 20% of the Philippines. In ALL the others I fell perfect save. Is normal in the small vilages that the come to see you, but NEVER any boat come less tham 10 feer if not invited. They come because we are diferent. They never aproxeme to ask any thing. Once I stop in front a island that was destroy by supertyphon. I canoo come on my direction. I fell guilt because I had nothing to give. I assume they was going to ask for food or any thin else.. The stop 20feet from my boat and says hi. I point to land I say Im sorry for the situation. There was not one coconut tree standing. The smile for me chake the arms and invite me for diner. They are use to storms and are read to bild every thing again. As any where in the word big citys have pickpokets and is not adivise to anchor you boat and live alone in the nigth. I did in Cebu and got no problems. But other people got thing from the deek stolen... There are a marina there, you can go in and do you shop in peace. I never be in Manila by boat but you can go to SubicBay a ex American base. There are Marinas, Travel Lift and a big boat shop. If they do not have what you need they can orther to you. I did live my boat out of the water there for doing a deliver job and return to find my boat perfect save. There are no limitations for stay in Pillipibes . You can stay in philipine as long you pay imigration fees. ALL the imigrarion is made on computers. The ofices are very friend, onest and trate you very well. You pay per month. You can pay for up to 6months. More month you pay in advance chiper it get. The custons was very friend and you do only when you come in and out of the country. There are many cruisers, some marinas and hundreds of hurricane holes. I have a group on Facebook for sailors cruising this are. Any one interest in participate just contact me . is a secret grup to avoid non cruiser . any one can invite other friends I will spend on more year cruising and diving here. Im cruising for the last 20 years. Have being many countris. This is one of my favorits places.
Sorry for the miss speling.
Majj Zazen
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Old 03-09-2016, 20:05   #14
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

I had cheked out in Cebu and as in any other place that I had be the imigrations oficers was honest and eficient. Majj Zazen
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Old 03-09-2016, 20:12   #15
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Re: Is this better or worse for cruisers visiting the Philippines?

I have lived in the Philippines for 11 years and cruised extensively all over it the past 6 years, except around Mindanao. Never once felt at risk or observed an incident worth reporting.
The new President has his own agenda which I doubt will change anything as far as cruisers are concerned in the short term. However hopefully in the long term he will root out the Abu Sayaf and open up that part of PI to cruise safely.
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