crime
Day to day Life

Is Davao a safe place to live

Is Davao Safe

I am not going to Davao the is too much crime

There are a lot of killings in Davao

If you go there, you will be bombed

These are some of the statement that you hear when you tell people that you are living in Davao or indeed that you intend to move to this supposed crime-ridden City

Is this even the right question to be asking.  Perhaps what should be should be asked is:-

Is Davao City a dangerous place to live as a western Expat?

Or perhaps better still. How safe do you feel living in the City

Statistics and comparisons are easy to make to look however you want them to look

Every year or so there seems to be a newspaper or website article claiming that Davao is in the top 10 safest places to live in the Philippines or sometimes the claims go as far as to say that it is one of the safest places in the world

I would not go that far!

I have been in Davao since 2012. I would consider myself about average when it comes to being “Street Smart.”

I have not been a victim of personal crime here.  I have not witnessed any crime, and I don’t know of anyone that has been a victim of crime

I have had some low-level scams attempted on me, and some were successful like minor bait and switch when buying items

It’s true that I do not go to many places where there are crowds, but that is a personal choice rather than because I am apprehensive about crime or terrorism

Davao has an overnight population of around 1.5 million people and only a few thousand western Expats.  If was a crime committed against as foreigner living here it would be quickly and widely reports but a few minutes searching on the internet bring minimal results for the subject

There have been some terrorist activities in the City, the last one being in 2016.

These attacks are not targeting Foreigners.

Night scene at the roxas night market in Davao city

A look at the website of your government or your country’s embassy will give you the advice you should not travel to the southern Philippines and in particular the provinces further south than Davao

Many expats and residents, including me, believe that the built-up area of Davao City should be exempted from this warning.

Davao Task Force

Checkpoint

A large Davao Task Force protects Davao city itself.  Their personal are drawn from the Army and  Police.   They are well equipped and have a ring of steel around the City and many checkpoints at the main transact points in the City.

It can look a bit offputting when you first arrive here, but they soon blend into the background after a few months

I have always been treated with respect and courtesy any time I have encountered the task force, and I am pleased, as most people are, to see them around

Davao Police Force

Davao has a large, well equiped and trained Police Force

​I have not been a victim of a crime,  a couple of low-level low peso Scams, yes but a crime that I have had to report – no

​Also,  I am not aware of any serious crime being committed against a westerner in Davao City during the entire time I have been here

​The honest truth is I feel safe inside Davao city main area and never really think about crime in my day to day life

​That is not to say that you should not take it the subject seriously, you should.   Just the normal precautions that you would take in any major city

​I have had late nights out on the town and never experienced anything negative, the very opposite with people always ready to help you get a taxi or give you directions

​The vast majority of the residents of Davao City seem to obedient to day to day  law and ordinances of the city and are justifiably proud of the Citys good reputation

​An expatriate living in Davao City that stays aware of his/her surrounding whilst going about their day to day life is very unlikely to be a victim of any crime

Davao Police lined up on parade

Conclusion

My advice for a trouble-free life here in Davao is.​

Obey the national Laws and in particular, stay  away from drugs or people that are involved with drugs ​

Obey the Local Ordinances in particular – No smoking in Public Places –  Don’t drink and drive – Carry the required documents with you.​

Act like a guest and you will be treated as one.​

Be polite and respectful to all those in authority.  It’s ok to argue your point of view but do it in a respectful manner.​

If you are going to a government office wear long pants and a shirt.

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