Season’s Greetings and Staying Safe in the Phillippines

Staying Safe this Holiday Season.

The following information is part of a holidays message that is published by the U.S. Embassy in Manila every year around this timne and it is applicable to all foreigners living in the Philippines. The holidays are especially challenging because of the pressures placed on the poorest of those citizens living in the Philippines, and the need to provide for themselves and their families during this festive time of year.

The Embassy always reminds U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling and residing in the Philippines, and to be extra cognizant of criminal and terrorist activity during the prime holiday season. While victims can oftentimes simply be at the wrong place at the wrong time, they can also be targeted because of a perception of affluence. In years past, there have been incidents of robbery, pick-pocketing, thefts of property from vehicles, and unoccupied residences being burglarized. Any public event that draws holiday crowds can be a target for terrorist groups seeking publicity for their cause.

Actions to Take:

· Keep a low profile.

· Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.

· Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists and/or Westerners.

· Avoid crowds.

· Avoid walking in dark or isolated areas.

· Always carry some type of identification.

· Be aware of your surroundings.

· Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.

· Always drive with your windows rolled up and the doors locked.

· Park in well-lighted areas. Do not leave personal items openly displayed in your vehicle.

· Always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.

Assistance:

American citizens:

· U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
+63 (2) 301-2000
· ACSInfoManila@state.gov
· State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

For UK citizens:

British Embassy
+63 (2) 858-2200
Fax (Chancery) +63 (2) 858-2216

For Australian citizens:

Switchboard: +63 (2) 757-8100
Facsimile: +63 (2) 757-8268

 

All other foreign nationals are advised to keep their Embassy information readily available for emergency purposes.

Have a Safe and Happy Holidays!

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