News are reporting that the current anti-drug campaign in the Philippines has resulted in the death of more than 6000 people.

What risks do I take when visiting Philippines in terms of personal safety?

  • 2
    Just a comment, not an answer, my Filipino girlfriend said she agrees with this campaign, as the drug problem was too much bad, and none of the earlier governments did anything to stop it. I was there in March, in Manila, and Visayas, and the normal life was just normal.
    – DavChana
    Jan 7, 2017 at 19:59
  • 4
    @DavChana agrees with mass-murdering people who have a drug problem? How about mass-murdering people with diabetes "because its too much bad"?
    – lowtoxin
    Jan 7, 2017 at 21:02
  • No, she meant drug sellers
    – DavChana
    Jan 7, 2017 at 21:37
  • 1
    As can be read in Ptiyeti's answer, this isn't necessarily an opinion only question.
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 8, 2017 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


This is the kind of question is often answerable by looking at the travel advice of a few Western countries. That is exactly what those advisories are for. Usually those tend to warn for likely and even not very likely safety troubles that you might encounter.

If I look for example at the UK travel advice, there is no warning that tourists have been caught up in the War on Drugs. For me that is enough proof that you shouldn't really be worried about the issue as a tourist and will not feel any particular effect of it.

The only mention that I found is

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for importing and using illegal drugs are particularly severe. Possession of even small amounts of any illicit drug in the Philippines attracts mandatory jail sentences. Police and other authorities have been publicly encouraged to kill suspected drug traffickers who resist arrest.

But you probably already knew that you shouldn't get involved with drugs, especially abroad. So, behave as a tourist, keep clear of drugs and cooperate with authorities when challenged and you will be fine.

  • +1. I was in Manila last October, and everything looked as usual.
    – George Y.
    Jan 8, 2017 at 5:06

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