Crime in Cebu, Philippines

Crime rates in Cebu, Philippines

Level of crime
53.64 Moderate
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
53.77 Moderate
Worries home broken and things stolen
49.77 Moderate
Worries being mugged or robbed
52.59 Moderate
Worries car stolen
36.90 Low
Worries things from car stolen
45.10 Moderate
Worries attacked
45.79 Moderate
Worries being insulted
39.05 Low
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin colour, ethnic origin or religion
30.42 Low
Problem people using or dealing drugs
64.62 High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
55.42 Moderate
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
50.94 Moderate
Problem corruption and bribery
69.05 High

Safety in Cebu, Philippines

Safety walking alone during daylight
66.59 High
Safety walking alone during night
40.65 Moderate

Contributors: 107

Last update: September 2019

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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20 Comments so far

#Pedro on Sep 05, 2019 :
We got attacked by some teenagers around mango av, their main goal wasn't only to robbe but to cause the most damage in my dody, they left me un cuncius and still were kiced me in the head, they only took my cellphone but left with hearing lost
#Djdon on Jun 12, 2019 :
Interesting to read. It’s now june 2019 and crime is bad. A lot if the killings are by the police themselves, part of Duterte’s drug war, which hasn’t had a major impact although some will disagree. The violence just keeps ramping up and up. I’m a foreigner living here about four years after visiting for about 10. Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up here as some have noted. Lots of good peeps, but lots who just want something from you. If you are a are rich. It is a culture that is rotting if you ask me. Respect for others, for elders and all that is just evaporating. It’s become a very selfish, self-centred culture where greed rules the day. Corruption, although you may never really experience it as a visitor is pervasive from the very top to the very bottom. I’ve never felt particularly unsafe, but yeah certain areas, night time I just would not go. Groups of guys drinking or individuals who are drunk, stay far away. They like to drink here and fancy themselves good drinkers, but they are NOT! Easily provoked and easy to pull out a knife or gun. That’s the other problem, way too many guns floating about. Every single week I read about someone being killed by a motorcycle passenger shooting someone (known as riding in tandem). It’s a great place to visit, just be common sense careful, but as a place to live...forget it. I reckon this place, sadly becoz there’s lots of good educated people here, will be a third world basket case for many years to come - largely becoz of the utterly corrupt, greedy, self-serving political and economic elite that have much to lose if this country ever developed properly. In the meantime, it’s about grabbing whatever you can at whatever level you are at in society...and that has its obvious impacts, some of which you may or may not experience coming to this country.
#〜 Sumisu on Dec 18, 2018 :
I'm an experienced traveler and have no problem with my own safety ,I'm 68 years of age lone traveler, came across a problem while camping on a beach in Jubay Liloan Cebu in November this year. I had run out of camping gaz for my stove. Asking around I found a guy who showed me where to get a cylinder . we walked about fifteen minutes to a compound of about 5 (huts or one might call them nippa houses) and one larger built house. children of all ages running about and more coming attracted by the foreigner visiting. There i saw three large LPG cylinder containers in the court yard. I was led to a small lock up filled with rusty gas cans . I was asked for my empty gas container and replied that I had thrown it away. "No problem" said the guy and he picked up a rusty can , proceeded over to the large Butane cylinder and decanted a measure of gas into the small rusty cylinder and asked for 25 peso. I was gobsmacked not at the price but at the dangerous practice of decanting into rusty tins , children running around freely laughing and enjoying themselves. Got back to the beach and the shock got me. I didn't eat that night and had a few "Red Horse" instead. I remembered the explosion that had happened a few years back in Manila that killed 4 and injured more than 40 from the blast with children left limbless.
#Shawn on Nov 08, 2018 :
Cebu is full of scammers, prostitutes, thieves, diarrhea and fever. First time in Lapu-Lapu the streets had no side walks and dangerous. Hotel security guards wouldn’t stay out my business when females came to visit me. Relocated to Fuente Cebu city next to “Mango city”, met a really nice ladyboy that claimed he does the best body massages of all. The guy talked me into a room massage than stole $500 out of my backpack. I was walking in the park and seemed safe until someone was stabbed to death at night. So far a Filipino business man 45 was shot to death and robbed, and two Cebu taxi drivers were robbed shot and killed. America has the same problems but it’s not could for tourism to be in an unsafe place. Sorry, but the poverty is to deep in Cebu to the point you can’t trust anyone. Everyone thinks your a rich American and they don’t realize I have to drive a fuel tanker truck 12 hours a day M-F. No one gives me nothing and the people of Cebu act like I owe them something. I have to work hard for every dollars and maybe that’s the problem of the Philippines, many people are lazy and not working for their money but rather beg or rob someone. I grew up in the ghetto to in America and understand poverty and hunger. I will probably never return to the Philippines because to rob your tourist injuries the entire country, and when you lose trust no one will come. I was never robbed in Thailand and those people are just poor but have better values and honesty. Here in the Philippines any chance to take money from you because of your mistake they will just steal it. Well, I got two souvenirs and look forward to going back to America. Next trip Bali or maybe Dominican Republic. Sorry, if some Filipinos don’t like my post but I’m being real, who wants to visit a country where you can’t trust anyone. I’m also laying in bed from diarrhea and fever because the food is so unhealthy. Everything is fried and very oily, next best choice is McDonalds and KFC. Well, I did get a lot of girls here and that was the perk of the Philippines. That alone beats America because are women are so crappy, so my visit wasn’t completely bad. And I did meet some nice people, but like I said you can’t trust anyone.
#Expats Bewate on Oct 12, 2018 :
We need to identify a husband and wife scam team that target expats in Cebu, Joanne Redoble Apuhin and Chris Ian Desabille Apuhin are regular scammers. Chris Apuhin and Joanne Apuhin are from Bantayan Island, they try and befriend foreigners to steal their identity or use sextortion. Linked to identity theft, prostitution, fraud and many fake scam business. Beware these two, search their names to see their pics to protect yourselves, they are identified on many scam sites. Hope this stops another scam against tourists and expats
#Ivan on Jul 24, 2018 :
Lot of comments, if you look for such safe place like heaven then go to Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.
#Ivan on Jul 24, 2018 :
Lot of comments, if you look for such safe place like heaven then go to Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.
#Jon on Jun 28, 2018 :
Never have felt threatened or had any problems here in the Philippines, however I don't go to bars or walk around late. I maintain situational awareness as I would anywhere, and act respectfully. Most people are very friendly and courteous.
#Anonymous on Jun 27, 2018 :
I've been to Cebu on two occasions, and I've never felt unsafe. That being said, it's important to understand you're not in your home country, especially if you're from the west, and take appropriate precautions. Go withsome locals if you can. For instance, you are way more likely to get robbed on the public buses (Jeepneys) than in a taxi or uber, so dodge those and pay the extra fee for a taxi. Otherwise a really fun city, the people are super friendly!
##TagaCebu on May 12, 2018 :
I am from Cebu, born and raised. Cebu is a beautiful place, we got lots of beautiful white sand beaches and accessible to amazingly breathtaking nearby islands such as Bantayan, Malapascua, Sumilon and many islets between Cebu and other island provinces such going to Bohol, Masbate and Siquijor. Cebu City is the second next to Manila in terms of the cities development. About safety, like anywhere else except UAE, where you can rarely encounter robbers or pick pocketing, drunk and homeless in the streets; in Cebu we do have them, but you just have to vigilant, look after yourself, don't show off flashy accessories, dress down in downtown areas like Colon, Carbon, Sikatuna, etc. And be aware of no-go zones esp. During the night such as Hidden places in Carbon, Ermita, A.Lopez street near Happy Valley, B Rodriguez St, etc. There are lot of safer places you can go Sugbo Mercado, Park Mall, Mango Ave. , Ayala Business Park, IT Park, Lahug etc. Keeping this in mind, you should be fine.
#VCrim on Jan 14, 2018 :
The biggest concern in Cebu is the fact that a lot of locals have a tendency of taking advantage of those who don't know any better, typically by overcharging them (usual victims are obvious foreigners). Then again, you can find that in many places here in the Philippines.

I usually go out late at night to travel to work, and it's been relatively safe so far. Though, I would advice to be vigilant of your surroundings. It only takes one bad thing to happen to you to threaten your life.
#John44 on Nov 20, 2017 :
Early this year I spent my holidays in Cebu. I met a nice and cute girl and had a good time with her. She would like me to settle there and stay with her. I have 2 major doubts. The most obvious one is how to find out if she really wants me or if she is more interested in my bank account. But the second doubt is about safety and environment. She is a full member of this Alpha Kappa Rho Sorority: in order to be admitted she had to suffer a lot (painful paddling and was burnmarked with a hot coin on her right wrist). I heard that part of this Akhro people is violent and dangerous. What is the risk to stay with an Akrho girl and acceptance by her fraternity friends?
#Devin on May 11, 2017 :
I'm an American, and I visited Cebu City, Oslob, Moalboal, and Camotes Island in February of 2017. At no point did I have any trouble or even feel like I might be in any danger. I was aware of my surroundings, and I knew the potential risks. I walked the streets at night and had nothing but a great time. The people were friendly, helpful, engaging, and respectful. There are dangers anywhere you travel. As long as you are respectful and don't make yourself a target you'll be fine. Common sense goes a long way. If you lack common sense, I'd say traveling ANYWHERE is not a good idea for you. Cebu is a fun, wonderful, beautiful place and I can't wait to return in a few months.
#Pat on Mar 20, 2017 :
Love cebu love the people and my partner is from cebu. Safety is about people being stupid. Would rather be there than anywhere in USA for sure.

I am Australian and love this country but there are plenty of places you don't go here. Its just about being smart and respect people in their home.

Hope to live in Cebu soon.
#Lars on Feb 10, 2017 :
I have been living in Cebu for 16 years. Been to the worst places drunk, never happened anything serious. I was pickpocked once by a gang of muslim(?)children, not Cebuanos. Extreamly cleaver, no threats involved, only distraction.

I had the vallet in my pocket, it was full of money and credit cards, 30 seconds of distration while buying cigarettes from a street wendor in Mango street 2am. When i drive home my valet is on the floor of the car. Thje money is gone but all cards left. Like magic.

Another incident 5 years earlier, I was out driving 3am with my car, right side window open. Talked with some street children thru the window and one of them took my cellphone lying on the right side chair.

Stupid me!

I went to the police station togetheer with some other street children at 3.30am. The police and the other street children found my cellphone in Pasil (a no-go zoon for foreigners and local cebuanos) and I got it back and the perpetrators were catched. At the police station the police asked me if I wanted to press charges.

I said no. And gave the street children helping me a full McDonalds meal each (which is a 5-star treat for the poor). I mean guys, in what other place in the world would the police bother to catch cellphone thiefs and get your cellphone back within 1-2 hours. It is outlandish amazing awesome.

Cebu is even safer now, after President Duterte was installed 2016. Crimerate has fallen dramatically all over the country. The government services is faster than in the so called developed world.

There are no-go zones like Pasil and Ermita and Carbon market, and some more, stay away from those places. Even locals do that. Common sence. If someone say to you "My friend!" Don't answer, say nothing, don't look that is the fastest way to get rid of street pedlers. But they are very few now since Duterte was installed.

The City of Davao, President Dutertes hometown, is the 6th safest city in the world. Go there if you want to be 95% safe and secure. It is also clean as Singapore, no bad smell. If you want to be 100% safe, you better go to heaven, but then you got to die first :)
#Barry on Nov 12, 2016 :
QUESTION OF SAFETY: How safe would it be for a Filipina traveling alone with 1/2 Caucasian small daughters to visit relative in Cebu for several weeks during the holidays?
#Shawn on Jun 16, 2016 :
My wife got robbed by some stupid teenagers they held a knife to her in a jeepney in cebu city around colon area.
#trevor on Mar 05, 2016 :
my wife is from cebu been there on many occasions,cebu is like big citys all over the world and been to many of them, its as good or bad as any,but no worse than most. the thing is the people there are good people. are there bad ones of course there is, same as anywhere,but if your thinking of going to cebu go you will not regret it,its fantastic place,are you going to be safe well most likely as much as being at home, ....
#Varmintz on Feb 17, 2016 :
Cebu City can be a fun place for the expat or early retiree to spend some extended time.
Dress down, don't be showy, or create a business or invest in anything you dont care to lose.
Whatever you build or invest in will probably be stolen or extorted, and if you succeed in business you may die since Filipinos crab mentality will end up with you being dead, stabbed, shot, or cheated.
Just roll with the whole scene, dress like you don't have money, and be ready to have your posessions, including documents stolen at some point.
Once you come to grips with this advice.......carry on, and have a nice time !
I've been going there since the 80's and have heard it all and am now sharing.
#Robert D. on Jan 14, 2016 :
So, I would like to join this discussion. I am in Philippines for 15 days now. First one night in Manila. Was walking at the late evening around some blocks next to the bay/philippino Casino. Nothing happened besides the scamming, which I always responded to with " No,thanks." After reading those posts I must admit:Lucky me. Also millions of prostitutes/ladyboys/bar owners offered their services, and I still said: No. Sometimes they only make a sound like "pffff". Nothing happened to me. I had some gas with me for protection. Never used until now. Then,after 1 night in Manila, I flew to Tagbilaran, Bohol Island to proceed to Alona Beach. The taxidriver,which brought me to the Airport just gave me his private number and name,for, if i come back, he would show me special places, and not only touristic ones. As I arrived in Tagbilaran I decided to walk to Alona Beach. Much nicer in this place. No scammers,just trycicle drivers offering transportation, looking at You as if You are a ghost,when You answer: I want to walk. Arrived in Alona Beach,almost no scammers passed my way. Offerings of diving and food are typical touristic features, but not that annoying as in Manila. The prices where higher and i think only 1 ladyboy tried to sell its services. After some days in Alona Beach I went to Cebu. To a hostel. Full of mixed people. Had some blackouts there due to this shitty beer colt 45. Went one night with a crowd out to the mango square. Sat there for about 45 minutes getting bored of too loud music and all the prostitutes and ladyboys. Wanted to go home, the others wanted to group together first. So i left alone. Got myself a piece of chicken and a can of san miguel and returned through dark, narrow and empty streets. A young and nice hooker grabbed my arm and all my "no's" did not work. One loud " No, leave" almost made her shock and she left. I tried to find the dark street which we used to come to mango square but i was confused and had to walk some other dark roads. Again, nothing happened to me. Why not? Two days later I left the hostel and tried to walk to the airport, finding myself in slums. My foot had a problem so I jumped into a pharmacy store, put off my bagpacker's bag and asked for the proper medicine. Suddenly a customer simply stood next to me covering my bag with his body. As i recognized that, he went away. Strange. I proceeded by cab and took the plane to Manila, same hotel as before. Spent one night and then wanted to exolore the city by feet. Went first to Manila Doctors, checking the foot. Allright.Then checked the two museums. Then, with great expectations, I went to the district chinatown. Completely crowdwed slum. New high skyscrapers in construction, at their bottom on the roads people sleeping on paper,next to dogs,offering almost dehydratetd puppies for sale. Fresh seafood was sold directly at the street, which is jammed almost allover the day. Had a walk through a part of chinatown took a cab to a restaurant and had Dinner. I think i won't do some of those walks again, after reading all Your posts but nothing happened to me on 2 weeks and I really challenged my fate. So on the end it might be fate. If it happens, perhaps it should happen. In my drunken mood in Cebu i almost was disappointed that I could not use my gas to protect myself. But living in Manila or Cebu? Not for me. The contrasts are too huge, poverty smells badly, and the traffic and air are really f...d up.