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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy, Manila, Philippines

October 10, 2013

 

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO U.S. CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES.  PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD.  THANK YOU.

 

Additional Security Threats in Southern Mindanao

 

The U.S. Embassy wishes to alert U.S. citizens that a series of credible security threats have been identified in southern Mindanao.  In particular, the Embassy is aware of threats in several locales in Region 11 (the Davao Region), Region 12 (North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani), and in Maguindanao.  Individuals associated with known extremist and insurgent groups are believed to have been conducting surveillance on a number of public locations in these areas, as possible targets of interest. 

Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests.  Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other destinations, whether frequented by foreigners or locals.

As a result, the Embassy has placed restrictions on all US government travel to these areas.  The Embassy advises all U.S. citizens residing in southern Mindanao to exercise extreme caution and re-evaluate their personal safety situation.  The Embassy strongly reiterates its recommendation that U.S. citizens exercise extreme caution when travelling to Mindanao and keep personal safety and security in mind during any stay in Mindanao.  For more information on security conditions in Mindanao, please refer to the July 4, 2013, Travel Warning for the Philippines that is posted on our website.

The Embassy wishes to remind you to remain vigilant and maintain an appropriate level of personal security in all circumstances by reviewing your personal safety plans; remaining aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitoring local news sources for updates. 

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The Embassy is located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines and is open 0730-1600, Monday through Friday.  The Embassy's main telephone number is (632) 301-2000.  U.S. citizens needing to speak to the Embassy can dial this number and ask to be connected to the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit or with the Embassy Duty Officer (for calls outside of normal business hours).  You can also contact the ACS unit through email at ACSInfoManila@state.gov or through the Embassy Facebook page.  Please visit our website for information on all services offered by the ACS unit.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.GovSTEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for the Philippines, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for the Philippines.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.