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It is best to arrive on a weekday, but even then your VHF call may not be answered. Try calling the Port Office by cell phone. Overnight stops, while proceeding to such a port, are normally tolerated but there should be no contact with anyone before proper clearance formalities have been completed.
See Clearance Fees for details on how much clearance should cost. Yachts, especially those with animals on board, are expected to contact the quarantine medical officer 24 hours before arrival, but the authorities are aware of the impracticality of this requirement and may waive it, provided the yacht proceeds to an official port of entry. Last updated April Immigration Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the planned stay. If flying back into the country on the return half of a ticket, American Airlines and maybe others now require an onward ticket even if you have documents showing your boat is berthed in the country.
No visa is required for stays of up to 30 days for most nationals with an extension of a further 29 days, provided their onward passage is assured. Fees vary but should be displayed in the Immigration office.
It is advisable for anyone planning to cruise the Philippines to obtain a 60 day visa in advance as this avoids the additional fees involved in obtaining an extension. Further extensions can be obtain up to a maximum stay of 6 months at which time you must leave the country.
See this useful official map of offices where such extensions can obtained. Nationals requiring a visa: The validity of the visa starts from the date of checking in at the first port of entry. A convenient place to obtain a visa in advance is the Philippine Consulate General in Brisbane, Australia. As well as passport, form and photograph signed on the reverse, it is required to submit an itinerary, date and port of entry into the Philippines and details of the vessel.
The cost of the visa depends on the nationality. It is likely the airline will ask that you have a return or on-going ticket when you enter the Philippines, but by showing your Customs papers you can prove that you are returning to your boat and will be exiting the Philippines in it. See reports adjacent for latest on this topic. Some Customs officials will state that yachts are required to clear in and out of all major ports in the Philippines as they cruise.
In practice, very few do. Firearms must be declared to Customs on arrival. Prohibited items include pornographic material, narcotics and internationally prohibited drugs, unless accompanied by a medical prescription.
Health Cases of malaria and dengue fever have been reported here. It would be wise to take precautions against these potentially dangerous insects. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
Annual reports and accounts
Fees Officially yachts should gain free entry for one year and the only charges are for immigration visa extensions. However, in practice, many local officials charge for what they call "special services" this could be overtime, even if the delay is their fault and may also try to charge for a deratting certificate, which is not required by small pleasure craft.
Read the clearance sections for each POE to get an idea of which ports should be avoided, and the comments from cruisers at the bottom of the page. Last updated September Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea A very popular diving spot. You will not be allowed to stay here without obtaining a permit prior to arrival. Get one at Puerto Princesa, on the island of Palawan. The procedure is simple and should only take a couple of days. The fees are Pesos per person, and Pesos for a vessel of gross tons or below.
See report for more details. Local Customs Some tips on understanding Filipinos, taken from a forum posting by a cruiser who lived in the Philippines for 4 years. Filipinos are raised in multi-generational households living close together where expressing anger is not conducive to harmony.
You discredit yourself in their eyes. If you ask a question and get no reply, it could be one of several things: They slightly lifted their eyebrows which means yes. They squinched up their nose which means no. Wherever their nose was pointing it means that way.
For Filipinos this is not impolite. Also, if they answer with a double vowel sound ah-ah, uh-uh, etc. You indicate you want a trike, taxi, or bus to stop by extending your arm at an angle to the ground with palm open. If you want to tell them which way you are going, do the same with your arm pointing in the direction you want to go. If someone squeezes past you, bowed over with arm pointing to the ground, it means "excuse me".
The yacht will be inspected and a fee charged JAVA says: Sep 27, Immigration cost Php, whereas two years ago it cost nothing. Passport and asked for a receipt for payment. Ha, ha, at least the guy was honest in that this money was strictly off the books! May 27, Abu Sayaf and martial law aside, the marina is run by an absentee Filipino manager who avoids customers and does not manage his staff.
For some odd reason marine time is 15 min ahead of world time, and the employees use this to their advantage at starting, lunch, break, and stop times so as to cut 1. Management is aware, but insists on charging for time not worked. Theft is an issue and marina provided workers are so unskilled as to be useless. Hire outside contractors if you must have work done, but I highly recommend going somewhere else.
The marina is located on an island and if you need anything it is a day wasted going into Davao by ferry. They could not haul my boat due to the 2m draft!
The marina owner has plans to turn the marina into a condo hotel, and ignores what little existing marina business remains. There are much better places in the Philippines Sue Richards says: Feb 23, Just to update information on the safety of cruising the Palawan area, Philippines. Early February we took our motor yacht from Busuanga to Kudat.
The route was down the west coast of Palawan after re-fueling in Coron. We stopped overnight at El Nido, and Uluguan Bay. Note that the Coast Guard wants yachts to register at their offices when they stop in Coron and El Nido. Nothing problematic, they only want to see the boat registry and get a crew list. We spoke to the officers in Coron, El Nido and the Coast Guard station of Ulugan Bay when we were there, and they claimed that there was no problem with safety on the south part of Palawan anymore.
During our stop in Ulugan Bay, we rented tricyles to go to Puerto Princesa for immigration and port clearance, and it went very smoothly. We asked the Customs officer in Puerto Princesa if it would be safe to anchor in the bays southward, and he had a different opinion to that of the Coast Guard.
He said that we should not take any unnecessary risks. So we decided for the remainder of the trip to stay offshore -approx nm - and go directly to Kudat. We had no problems during the passage, just the occasional fishing boat passed by and we had a very nice cruise. Off Pulau Balambangan there was a Malaysian patrol boat moored, obviously monitoring the channel. We arrived on Saturday, so immigration and customs were closed, so we went to Kota Kinabalu for immigration where the port immigration office is open 7 days a week.
Customs we cleared on Monday, as well very efficient and only took a few minutes, same as for the immigration. So an excellent trip and hopefully we will get further assurance of Southern Palawan being a safe place to cruise in the very near future. Nov 01, After winding through the entrance reefs the channel is quite narrow, suggest you do it with the sun high , we overnighted in Dapa, a very pleasant small town with a lovely anchorage just West of the ferry wharf.
They are not flagged or lit, we passed a couple at night, fortunately it was full moon so we could see them. On a dark night they would be impossible to see. If they are, in fact, steel, they present a very real threat to small vessels.
Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
We saw five close-by on the layline between Dapa and Palau. Of course, Palau is beautiful. Jan 07, Dec 02, The cm93 database chart is slightly off register here so the location of this waypoint appears to be on the shore when it is in fact mid channel. The vessel survived hitting the powerline but just barely. All electronics including transducers were blown up. The lone crew was remarkably not injured. Another vessel we met in Palau earlier this year also reported this wire - they came very close to disaster themselves - but we were not able to get a precise location from them.