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Drone Laws In the Philippines For 2023 (Ultimate Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
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No night flying

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Don't fly over crowds

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Do not interfere with aircrafts

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Line of sight

If you want to take along a drone on your trip to the Philippines you must get aware of all the rules and regulations to avoid any inconvenience. This is a guide for the Philippines drone laws in 2023 (updated every year) where you'll get a clue about what you can or shouldn't do while flying a quadcopter anywhere in this country.

Can I bring a drone into the Philippines?

As a foreigner, you do not need to have a permit to fly your drone. However, this is only limited to recreational use. The drone must also be regarded as ‘light’ and adhere to all other rules laid out by the Philippine authorities.

Can I fly a drone in the Philippines?

According to the Philippines national Aviation authority, it is legal to fly drones in the Philippines. One can fly a drone in the Philippines as long as one abides by all the rules and regulations. Drone laws here are governed by The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines which has Exclusive oversight powers concerning drones and drone-related policymaking. 

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What are the General Drone Laws in the Philippines?

The drone rules depend upon your drone's weight, and if it’s been used for commercial or recreational purposes.

  1. To fly a drone weighing equal to or more than 7kgs, for commercial purposes, you must obtain a certificate from CAAP.
  2. The drone must be flown in daylight. You can only fly your drones at night if they have proper lighting.
  3. The drones must be flown in normal weather conditions.
  4. Keep your drone within the visual line of sight of an observer who is next to you or in direct communication with you to avoid any incident.
  5. The drones must not be flown in populated areas such as schools, mosques, marketplaces, etc.
  6. Drones must not be flown over crowds. The drones must be kept at a distance of 30 meters from the elderly, children, vulnerable groups, or expectant women.
  7. Drones must not be flown higher than 400 m from the ground.
  8. The drones must not interfere with the emergency situations, such as fire or military bases.
  9. The drones must be kept at a distance of at least 10 km from the airports. They must not interfere with manned aircraft.

Do I need a permit or license to fly a drone in the Philippines?

The need for a license or permit for flying a drone depends upon the specifications of the drone and the purposes for which it is being operated. If you want to fly a drone for recreational purposes, you won’t need any permit or license. You can fly a lightweight drone a few meters above the ground for fun purposes, without a license.

However, if you want to fly your drone for commercial purposes or in restricted areas, and it weighs more than 7kgs, then you must acquire a certificate or a permit from CAAP to operate your drone. 

Also, there are certain places and areas that do require your drone and the pilot to be registered for operation, which is why it is advised for the pilots and the drones to be registered by CAAP before operating the drones in the Philippines to avoid any sort of issues that might spoil your tour.

How are the Drones Classified in the Philippines?

The CAAP classifies drones into two types:

  1. Commercial Drones (RPAS)
  2. Recreational Drones

Rules for commercial drone operators (RPAS)

One can only operate a commercial drone if:

  • They have an organizational structure that meets the CAAP threshold
  • They display their qualifications and credentials that meet the task requirements
  • Have the right facilities and equipment.

What are the Certification requirements to fly a drone in the Philippines?

Commercial drones or the ones weighing more than 7 kgs have to obtain a UAV certificate from CAAP before operating in the Philippines. The registration has the following sections:

  • UAV controller certificate 

To obtain a UAV controller certificate as a pilot, you must go through a training course which is then examined through an assessment and practical flight demonstration. Once the certificate is acquired, it is then valid for 5 years.

  • UAV Registration

This document assigns your drone an identification registration number, once you're registered by UAV. 

  • UAV operator Certificate

The UAV operator certificate contains the intent and detailed operation details of the drone. The certificate is valid for 3 years.

How do I keep up with the latest communications on drone policy in the Philippines?

The CAAP mainly relays its latest policy instructions through these channels:

  1. Website 
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Youtube 

Can I get penalized for not following the drone rules in the Philippines?

Even if you are flying your drone for recreational purposes, you will be fined and penalized for breaking the rules set by CAAP in the Philippines. You may be fined anywhere between P20,000 and P100,000 for each violation of CAAP rules.

Are there any restricted areas to take pictures from drones in the Philippines?

Although the use of recreational drones is so common in the Philippines now, there are certain areas that are restricted from taking pictures. You are not allowed to take pictures of people's private properties without consent due to security and privacy concerns. 

If you are found offending somebody’s privacy by doing so, you’ll be penalized by CAAP and your drone can be confiscated.

DJI Mini 2- The best international travel drone (under 250g)

DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is legal to fly in most countries without registration. It comes at a very cheap price for its incredible specs. I have covered it much more in-depth in my article review and even compared it with the Mavic Air 2.

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What are my top drones to fly safely in the Philippines?

My following two recommendations are 2 great compact drones that are quite silent and also small enough to travel with and not stand out as annoying.

1. DJI Mini 2- The best international travel drone (under 250g)

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

31 min

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10 km

drone-icon-spec

No follow-me

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DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is legal to fly in most countries without registration.

It comes at a very cheap price for its incredible specs.I have covered it much more in-depth in my article review and even compared it with the Mavic Air 2.

2. DJI Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

camera-icon-spec

4k 60p

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

10 km

drone-icon-spec

Follow me

image 26

If you want more control over things like shutter speed, iso, and such, the best professional drone that still falls under the 500g category is the DJI Mavic Air.

It's made mostly for people who want to play around with settings and enter into the pro category.

DJI lowered its price since it was first released.

Restricted Areas and Geofencing (Drone Flying map)

The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in, while you're here is by consulting DJI's official map.

They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

  • airports
  • military bases
  • prisons
  • power plants
  • any high-risk areas

These would be the current updated drone laws for Philippines, I suggest checking my full map with all the countries' drone laws to see where it's best to travel.

Conclusion 

If you are going to visit the Philippines, make sure you’ve learned all the dos and don’ts of flying drones in this region. This will help you have a safe journey and enjoy flying your drone without getting yourself into trouble. 

Also, keep in mind that, commercial and recreational drones are treated differently in most countries therefore you will need to prepare yourself accordingly. Last but not least, always follow rules and regulations and make sure to respect the laws of every country.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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