(travelandleisure.com)

The Canadian government is advising all its citizens to avoid traveling to the Philippines due to threats of terrorism and high level of crime.

Travellers headed to Western and Central Mindanao, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are asked to “exercise a high degree of caution”.

The following provinces are considered particularly dangerous due to threat of terrorist attacks, kidnapping, high levels of criminality, and violent clashes between the military/police and terrorist or rebel groups:

  • Basilan
  • Cotabato
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Maguindanao
  • Misamis Occidental
  • North Cotabato
  • Sarangani
  • South Cotabato
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Sulu
  • Tawi-Tawi
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay

Rising threats of piracy and kidnapping have also prompted the Canadian government to ask people to avoid all travel to the southern Sulu Sea, including the waters south of the island of Palawan.

The advisory also includes a warning to avoid all non-essential travel to Eastern Mindanao for the same reasons, although the situation there is relatively more stable compared to Western Mindanao.

This includes the provinces of:

  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Bukidnon
  • Camiguin
  • Compostela Valley
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao del Sur
  • Davao Occidental
  • Davao Oriental
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Surigao del Sur

“The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad,” reads the notice.

“We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.”

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