UK maintains travel advisory vs. PH, warns of holiday crimes

The United Kingdom government is urging its residents visiting the Philippines to be extra cautious with the holidays approaching.

In its travel advisory, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urged its residents to practice "sensible precautions."

"There is a high incidence of street crime and robberies, which often increases during the holiday season," the FCO added.

It noted of several street crimes in the metro, including "robberies, kidnapping, and explosions."

UK's FCO told its citizens to exercise caution and "arrange to be met at the airport or use hotel transfer services; use a driver or taxis from a reputable source and avoid displays of cash or jewelry."

"Even well lit and busy city areas cannot be assumed to be safe. You should [be] beware of strangers offering drinks or confectionery; criminals intent on robbery may lace these to render the victim unconscious," the UK FCO added.

The UK FCO also warned British Nationals of kidnapping threats and asked them to be vigilant especially when "travelling on public transport."

"Armed hold-ups have occurred on jeepneys and buses in the Philippines, and have in some cases resulted in fatalities," it said.

"The roadworthiness of some of these vehicles is also a concern," it added.

At the same time, UK has reiterated its standing travel ban to several specific areas in the country, particularly in Mindanao, amid "terrorist activity."

"We advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of ongoing terrorist and insurgent activity," the advisory noted.

FCO said that in 2010, some 95,000 British tourists visited the Philippines and such visits were "trouble free."

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