Population: 103.3 million
Official languages: Filipino & English
Time zone: Indochina time (ICT)
Emergency #: 199
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: Yes
The Philippines is known for its cities and beaches, including popular tourist destinations such as Rizal Park, Fort Santiago, and the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The standards for patient care and medical services in the Philippines may differ from your home country. Although the Philippines has both public and private health sectors, the private sector is larger and employs the majority of the country’s healthcare professionals. Most hospitals are privately owned but in general, there are equal amounts of private and public beds available. Many physicians have trained outside of the Philippines and speak English.
The quality of healthcare in the Philippines varies. Healthcare facilities in major cities are generally well-equipped and provide an adequate standard of care. Physicians in the public sector are well-trained, but public hospitals are perceived to be poorly equipped compared to private ones. Outside of major cities, facilities may have limited supplies and typically only provide routine care. Limited healthcare services can cause delays when seeking medical attention, even during emergencies.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in the Philippines typically require upfront payment in cash, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in the Philippines.
Pharmacies in major cities are generally adequate, though essential medications may be unavailable or in short supply. Most pharmacies are staffed with trained pharmacists.
If you are travelling with medication, check with the Philippine's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Traffic can be congested and chaotic, particularly in and around Manila, and road rules are rarely followed or enforced. Motorcycles are a popular form of transport but are involved in more than half the country’s road injuries. Motorcycle drivers and their passengers must wear helmets at all times for safety. While some major roads are paved, most of the roads throughout the country are not. During the rainy season, flooding and landslides can occur.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for the Philippines. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in the Philippines.