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Philippines Flag of Philippines

Pre Arrival:  Charts | Docs
Communications:  Pratique | Pre-Arrival
Pollution:  Pollution
Facilities:  Medical
Security:  Emergency | Piracy
Local Info:  Time | Holidays | Weather
Shore:  Consuls | Tel. | Banks
Crew:  Leave
General Information for Philippines
Capital City: Manila.
Nationality: (noun) Filipino, (adjective) Philippine.
Population: 97,976,603.
International Direct Dial Code: 63.
Number of Internal Airports: 85.
Major Languages Spoken: Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan.
Currency: 1 Philippine Piso (PHP) of 100 Centavos.
Main Industries: Electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining and fishing.
Territorial Sea: 285 n.m.
Other Maritime Claims: Continental Shelf: to depth of exploitation. Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 n.m.
Coastline Extent: 36,289 km.
Climate: Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October).
Natural Resources: Timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt and copper.
Natural Hazards: Astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis.
Terrain: Mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands.
Average Temperatures: 
Month High Low
January 30° C 21° C
June 33° C 23° C
September 30° C 23° C
CHARTS:  Notices to Mariners and navigational warnings published by the Philippines Coast Guard and National Mapping & Resource Information Authority. Available online at and
DOCUMENTS:  Documents to be produced by Master upon entry of vessel to a Philippines port; the following documents properly accomplished shall be submitted by the Master of the vessel to the authorised Customs Officer:
2 Bills of Lading (together with the copy of the Load Port Survey Report (LPSR) for bulk and breakbulk shipments)
2 Bonded Store Lists
4 Cargo Manifests (original manifest of all cargoes destined for the port and three copies)
2 Cargo Manifests (in transit)
   Cargo Stowage Plan or Hatch List
2 Crew Effects Declarations
2 Crew Lists
2 Firearms & Ammunition Lists
2 General Declarations
   Last Port Clearance
2 Mail or Parcel Lists
2 Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Lists
   Passenger Effects Declaration
2 Passenger Lists
   Quarantine Certificate (Pratique)
   Shipping goods and register of the vessel of Philippine registry
2 Stores Lists.
Notes:  Every vessel from a foreign port must have on board complete manifests of passengers and baggage, in the prescribed form, setting forth the destination and all particulars required by immigration laws. If the vessel does not carry cargo or passengers, the manifest must show that no cargo or passenger is carried from the port of departure to the port of destination in the Philippines.
Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM)/Consolidated Cargo Manifest (CCM):  Every vessel from a foreign port must have on board a complete manifest of all its cargoes. All cargoes intended to be landed at a port in the Philippines must be described in separate manifests for each port of call. A true and complete copy of the cargo manifest and CCM shall be electronically sent in advance by the shipping company, NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier), freight forwarder, cargo consolidator, or their authorised agents within the following cut-off period prior to the arrival of the carrying vessel at the port of entry:
  1. if the transit time from port of origin to port of entry is at least 72 hours, the Cargo Manifest and CCM must be electronically submitted to the Bureau of Customs 24 hours prior to arrival
  2. if the transit time from port of origin to port of entry is less than 72 hours, the Cargo Manifest and CCM must be electronically submitted to the Bureau of Customs 12 hours prior to arrival.
Submission of documents shall be via any accredited value-added service provider (VASP) onto the BOC-VASP Gateway.
PRATIQUE:  All vessels from foreign seaports calling at any seaport in the Philippines to disembark its passengers or discharge its cargoes, or for other purposes must secure a quarantine clearance in compliance with the health regulations. This Quarantine Certificate or clearance (pratique) shall be a prerequisite to Customs clearance.
Upon arrival, such vessel shall be boarded by a Quarantine Officer, and after pratique or health clearance is granted, shall be boarded by a Customs Officer. Subsequently, no person shall be permitted to board or leave the vessel without the permission of the Customs Officer; however, if a vessel has already been issued a Quarantine Certificate in the first Philippine port of entry, she will not be required to undergo another quarantine formalities at succeeding ports of call in the Philippines.
The health clearance shall be part of the required documents to be received by the authorised Customs Officer from the Master of the vessel.
No Quarantine Permit shall be required for the discharge of the regularly manifested cargo including animals, plants, etc. unless otherwise required by law or regulations. However if animals or plants are carried as baggage, their discharge shall be subject to regulations promulgated by the Bureau or office concerned.
PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION:  Notice of Arrival and Application for Berthing Anchorage can be submitted electronically, by registered users, on the PPA Online section of Philippine Ports Authority website. www.ppa-com.ph
Advanced Notice of Arrival (NOA):  The authorised agent or representative of any vessel engaged in foreign trade entering any of the Philippine ports of entry shall notify in writing the District Collector of Customs through a NOA submitted to the Piers and Inspection Division (PID) or its equivalent office of the vessel’s intended arrival and all other particulars at least 24 hours in advance. Upon receipt of the NOA, the authorised Customs Officer shall enter the ETA and other relevant details of the vessel into the Advanced Electronic Manifest System.
The vessel upon arrival from a foreign port at the port of entry and after the issuance of the Quarantine Certificate (Pratique) by the Bureau of Quarantine shall be boarded by the Customs boarding team duly assigned by the Chief, PID or its equivalent office through a valid Assignment Order in the following sequence:
  1. Customs Boarding Team
  2. Immigration Officer; and
  3. Department of Agriculture or Plant/Animal/Fisheries Quarantine Representative, as required.
Departure of Vessel:  Before a clearance shall be granted to any vessel bound to a foreign port, the Master of the vessel or the agent thereof shall present to the District Collector (of Customs) or his authorised representative the following properly authenticated documents:
  1. a Bill of Health from the Quarantine Officer or officer of the public health service in the port
  2. three copies of the manifest of export cargo, one of which, upon certification by the authorised Customs Officer as to the correctness of the copy, shall be returned to the Master of the vessel
  3. two copies of the Passengers List, showing foreigner and other passengers
  4. the register and shipping goods, if the vessel is of Philippine registry
  5. clearance issued by the last port of entry; and
  6. a certificate from the Philippine Postal Corporation to the effect that it received timely notice of the sailing of the vessel. The District Collector shall not permit any vessel to sail for a foreign port if the Master of the vessel, or agent thereof, refuses to receive bags of mail delivered to the same by the Philippine Postal Corporation for transport upon reasonable compensation. In case the Postmaster General and the Master of the vessel or agent do not come to an agreement concerning the amount of compensation to be paid for the carriage of the mail, the matter shall be submitted for decision to a Board of Referees to be composed of three (3) members appointed, respectively, by the Philippine Postal Corporation, the agency of the company to which the vessel concerned belongs, and the Bureau, who shall fix a reasonable rate of compensation.
POLLUTION:  The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is the responsible agency for preventing and controlling pollution in the country's territorial waters. The Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM), a unit of the PCG, is the point of contact for oil spill response operations and comprises the National Operations Center for Oil Pollution (NOCOP). The NOCOP Commander serves as the national on-scene commander and is able to request assistance from other government, private and military sources. In addition to the NOCOP, there are eight Marine Environment Protection Offices under the control of the eight Coast Guard districts.
Spill Notification Point:  Philippine Coast Guard Operations Center. T: +63 (2) 527 3880 (24 hr) or +63 (2) 527 3870 (24 hr) or Operator: T: +63 (2) 527 8481. F: +63 (2) 527 3880 or +63 (2) 527 3907.
Marine Environmental Protection Command (MEPCOM). T: +63 (2) 245 9165, (2) 703 3451. F: +63 (2) 245 9165, (2) 703 3451. mepcom_pcg2006@yahoo.com
MEDICAL:  The availability and standard of medical care varies across the Philippines. Although adequate in major cities, medical care is limited in more remote areas. Even some of the more popular tourist destinations have limited and basic medical provisions. This may result in a delay when seeking urgent medical attention in an emergency. Private hospital treatment can be too expensive for many people, e.g. the daily cost in intensive care units can be more than the equivalent of GBP1,000 (USD1,400; EUR1,100) per day. Make sure you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya virus occur all year round.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE:  The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is the national maritime search and rescue service of the country. The Coast Guard Action Center (CGAC) at the PCG Headquarters in Manila serves as the coordinating centre for all search and rescue operations. There are twelve Coast Guard districts designated as Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centres (MRCC) within their areas of responsibility while the 59 Coast Guard stations are designated as Maritime Rescue Sub-Centres (MRSC). The detachments under these stations are designated as SAR units.
Contact details of Coast Guard districts available at www.coastguard.gov.ph/index.php/districts
PIRACY:  In May 2017, the Philippines authorities reported that they had received unsubstantiated but credible information that the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf may be about to conduct kidnaps in the Sulu Sea, including around the islands of the Sulu archipelago (Philippines) and the seas/islands off the east coast of Sabah (Malaysia). Any vessels sailing in this area could be targeted. You should carefully consider travel plans and be especially vigilant at this time.
TIME:  GMT plus 8 hours. Daylight Saving Time GMT plus 9 hours from 21 April until 31 August.
LOCAL HOLIDAYS:  1 January (New Year's Day); 25 February (People Power Day); 9 April (Bataan Day); Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; 1 May (Labour Day); 12 June (Independence Day); 21 August (Ninoy Aquino Day); last Monday of August (National Heroes' Day); 1 November (All Saints' Day); 30 November (Bonifacio Day); 25 December (Christmas Day); 30 December (Rizal Day); 31 December (New Year's Eve). When any holiday falls on a Sunday, the following day (Monday) is, by law, considered a legal public holiday. Employees of the Philippines Port Authority – Port of Manila, Limay Sub-Port, report for work on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
WEATHER/TIDES:  Typhoons:  Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year. Most typhoons occur from June to November. There may be flooding and landslides. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the websites of the Philippines state weather agency www.pagasa-dost.gov.ph , the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council, www.ndrmc.gov.ph and www.typhoon2000.ph
CONSULS:  Contact details of foreign embassies available at www.dfa.gov.ph/resources/office-of-protocol/foreign-embassies
TELEPHONES:  Telephone numbers in the Philippines follow an open telephone numbering plan and an open dial plan. Telephone numbers are fixed at seven digits, with area codes fixed at one, two, or three digits. Mobile phone numbers are always 10 digits.
Since the Philippines employs an open dial plan, telephone numbers dialled within a given area code do not require the area code, excluding calls made from mobile phones or pay phones. When dialling other area codes, the domestic long distance access prefix 0 is added, but when dialling from overseas, this domestic prefix is not included.
BANKS:  Some ATMs accept international credit and debit cards. Shops in towns and cities usually accept international credit cards. Banks and foreign exchange outlets rarely accept travellers’ cheques. Cash in UK sterling or US dollars can be exchanged for Philippine pesos at some airports, in banks, hotels and some shops. Buying foreign currency in the Philippines can be difficult.
You may only bring up to PHP50,000.00 (approx. GBP670; USD950) into the Philippines without prior authorisation from the Philippines Central Bank. If you plan to bring more than PHP50,000.00 into the country, you’ll need to obtain written authorisation from the Philippines Central Bank.
SHORE LEAVE:  There’s a high level of violent crime, including gun crime. Criminal gangs sometimes use terrorist tactics like kidnapping. Explosions attributed to criminal organisations have caused fatalities
There is a high incidence of street crime and robbery. You should take sensible precautions. On arrival (by air) arrange to be met at the airport, or use a hotel transfer service or an official airport taxi where they exist. Only use taxis from a reputable company. Some taxi drivers and their accomplices have robbed and harmed passengers.
Avoid displaying cash or jewellery. Beware of strangers offering drinks or confectionery. They may be spiked. Be particularly vigilant when travelling on public transport. Armed hold-ups have occurred on ‘jeepneys’ and buses, mainly in larger cities like metro Manila and Cebu. In some cases these have resulted in fatalities.