Flying to the Philippines
The international airports are located in Cebu, Clark, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Manila, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 2 and 3 in Manila are the premier gateways. They serve more than 30 airlines that fly to different cities around the world.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City handles regular flights from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Doha and China as well as chartered flights from the United States, and other major travel capitals.
Davao International Airport (also known as Francisco Bangoy International Airport) handles flights from Singapore and other chartered flights.
The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga currently services low-cost or budget airlines and chartered flights while Subic in Olongapo City services both chartered and cargo planes.
Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte services flights from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s flag carrier, flies to and from 14 cities in eight countries. It is the only airline operating direct flight service from London Heathrow to NAIA Manila. www.philippineairlines.com.
The younger Cebu Pacific Air, also a flag carrier, is known for its budget flights and frequent seat sales. www.cebupacificair.com.
Apart from international flights, major cruise liners also stop at the port of Manila.
Kalibo Airport, gateway to the world-famous Boracay Island, also has regular and chartered flights coming mainly from China, Korea and Singapore.
You’ll find these travel facilities at the international airports:
- Duty-free and souvenir shops
- Tourist information and assistance counters with meet-and-assist personnel
- Hotel and travel agency representatives
- Car-rental services
- Medical clinics
- Baggage-deposit areas
- Free to use luggage carts
- Prayer Rooms and Chapel
NAIA in particular, has banks, postal service, a medical clinic, a pharmacy, chapels, salon, sauna and massage services.
Airports are handicapped-friendly. For wheelchair assistance, just ask any of the airline ground staff for one.
You’ll find counters for hotel transport and car rental services at all the airports, just past the Arrivals gates. Metered taxis and rent-a-cars, even van rentals, are readily available at the international airports for transportation to the city proper or beyond. Hotel transport can be arranged with hotel representatives at designated counters at the arrival lobby of the airport.
As of writing (September 2012), the airport fee for international departures is Php 550.00, but it is scheduled to increase to Php 750 before the year ends.
NAIA has a Php200 fee for domestic flights, but it is already included in your ticket fare. Domestic terminals around the country charge their own fee. Though preparing Php100-200 should cover it.
Children under two (2) years of age, transit passengers are exempt from airport fees. Please note that fees may change without prior notice.
Baggage carts and porter services are available free of charge.
Tipping is optional though traditional.
Starting August 1, 2013, nationals from 151 countries may enter the Philippines without a visa and stay for a maximum of thirty (30) days, provided they are holders of a passport valid at least six (6) months beyond the period of stay in the Philippines, and present a return or outward bound ticket to their country of origin or to a next country of destination.
For British passport holders:
You can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59 day stay.
You can apply to extend your stay at the offices of the Bureau of Immigration Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter and can lead to detention pending payment of outstanding fees and fines and voluntary deportation at your own expense.
Living, working or studying in the Philippines
If you intend to live, work, or study in the Philippines you’ll need to have certain UK documents (eg birth certificates, marriage certificates, UK police certificates, school documents) legalised by the FCO Legalisation Office and by the Philippine Embassy in London before relocating to the Philippines. These documents are required by the local authorities when applying for long-term resident visas. Contact the Legalisation Office and the Philippine Embassy in London for more details.
As of November 2015, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration has amended its rules about passport validity. British passports no longer need to have a minimum period of 6 months validity from the date of arrival. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
The Filipino authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.
For more travel advise on entry requirements for British passport holders please visit:
Or call our London Consular Hotline : 020 7451 1780
- Pursuant to the Bureau of Immigration’s Memorandum Circular No. RADJR-2013-006.
- For the list of 151 countries, please click here.
- Chinese Nationals, including citizens for Hong Kong and Taiwan, will need a special permit.
The Philippines is fortunate to be free from epidemics. The country remains safe from bird flu and foot-and-mouth diseases. If you’re coming from an area where yellow fever has been reported, you’ll need a certificate of vaccination.
For more information, visit www.doh.gov.ph
1 Philippine Peso (Php) = 100 centavos.
Bank notes: Php20, Php50, Php100, Php200, Php500, Php1,000.
Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, Php1, Php5, Php10.
Foreign currency may be exchanged at most hotels, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops.