Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?

Back to Philippine Drone News, Case Studies, and Industry Updates
Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?
Category: Philippine Drone Industry News

Do I need a drone license in the Philippines to shoot videos for my blog and Youtube channel?

Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now so popular that you’ve probably seen people post drone photos on their blogs or watched aerial videos on your Facebook feed.

But is that actually allowed? Do you need a license to fly a drone in the Philippines?

This is a question we get a lot – not only from newbies, but also from professional photographers who want to provide aerial services to clients.

To answer that, we need to clarify one thing first.


The Philippines does not have a “drone license”. We give Certifications instead.

As of 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) awards different kinds of certificates for drone operators and UAV pilots. 

You can apply for any of these 3 certifications:

  1. RPA Controller Certificate – Given to individual pilots. This is the closest thing we have to a “license” 
  2. RPA Registration Certificate – This is what you get when you register your actual drone
  3. RPA Operator Certificate – Given to businesses who want to charge money for commercial services

Note: RPA stands for “remotely piloted aircraft” 

Read more here: 2021 Updated Guide on Philippine Drone Laws and Certificates

You don’t need to be certified to fly a drone recreationally or as a hobby

Flying and operating UAVs and drones for personal use recreationally is ok in the Philippines

It is perfectly fine to fly, take photos, and shoot videos for your personal blog or Youtube channel because this is considered non-commercial use. 

But there are drone laws, rules and limitations you NEED to follow.

Section 11 of the latest Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) says you don’t need any RPA certificate as long you follow these rules:

  • Maximum flight altitude or height of 400 feet or approximately 122 meters
  • Must always have visual line of sight (do not go behind buildings, billboards, clouds, or anything that blocks your view to the drone)
  • Drone must weigh 7kg or less (common models like the DJI Mavic Mini, Mavic Pro, Spark, etc are all ok)
  • Keep your drone at least 30 meters or 98 feet from other people
  • Not allowed near emergency situations (ex: fires)
  • Not allowed during night time (fly in daylight hours only)
  • Not allowed in populated areas (malls, schools, etc.)
  • Not allowed in restricted airspace (10km from airports, government/military buildings)

And of course, respect private property and follow the rules set by the owner.

You don’t need a certificate as long as you operate your drone or unmanned aerial vehicle within the rules above.

Source: Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations Article 11.11.3, 11.11.4,, and 11.11.7.

But you do need to be certified first to fly drones commercially or as a business

If you want to make money with your skills as a UAV pilot, then you need to apply and get a certificate from the CAAP first. 

This includes professional services like:

  • Aerial photography and videography
  • Drone surveys for construction and real estate
  • Crop spraying and health monitoring for agriculture

Source: Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations Article 11.11.4  


How do you apply to get an official drone certificate from the CAAP?

All certifications are awarded only by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. We made an application guide with steps you need to get certified in the Philippines:


Reminder: there are local laws that require extra drone permits

There are many cities and regions in the Philippines that have their own regulations in addition to the CAAP rules.

For example, Davao City and Boracay have local laws where you need to get local government permission before operating a drone.

If you’re planning to shoot videos for your travel blog, then call their tourism office ahead of time to check if they require special permits for operating UAVs.


Have questions about flying drones in the Philippines?


Share this post

Comments (12)

  • Oland Call Reply

    I am a Filipino who already citizen of Canada. I already have a drone license here in Canada, am I authorized to fly a drone of beautiful places in the Philippines for personal vlog

    September 18, 2021 at 8:51 am
  • Karsten Schroeder Reply

    Hallo! I started drone flying two months ago, by obtaining/ passing the exams for the European UAS -PILOT A1&3, A2. I got myself 2 DJI Phantom 3 standard drones on the second hand market (ebay) in working/ flying condition, one with and one w/out camera.
    By early February 2022 I will be flying to Philippines for a post as development advisor and plan to bring the drones with me – for entirely personal and private use. Both drones were purchased for about PHP 16,000.-. However, a ‘carnet’ or merchandize certificate I don’t have as both purchases were on person 2 perso basis.
    Any recommendations from your end regarding import of those second hand drones to RP?
    Thanks for your support.

    Karsten Schroeder

    December 12, 2021 at 10:06 pm
    • Philippine Drone Network Reply

      Hi Karsten. Small recreational drones like the DJI Phantom are fine to bring into the Philippines for personal use.

      December 12, 2021 at 11:13 pm
  • Dan Cruz Reply

    Hi. I just want to ask if they are still issuing permits to fly drones in boracay? Thanks!

    April 10, 2022 at 9:18 am
    • Alexa from Philippine Drone Network Reply

      Hi Dan. Yes you need yo get permission from their tourism office before you fly drones in Boracay.

      April 10, 2022 at 12:21 pm
  • francis B Reply

    we want to acquire Industrial DJI M300 for property survey and safety industrial purposes. Is there any special permits to purchase from abroad and bring it to PH? Or would it be wise to have someone from US to hand carry the equipment and bring whatever papers like certificate or permit at the customs?

    Thank you

    July 6, 2022 at 1:11 am
  • Nick Reply

    Great site.\just wanted an up to date idea about taking a drone into Philippines as a tourist from the Uk = I have a Dji spark 330 grams and Dji air – haven’t actually used either in uk only abroad years ago travel around Indonesia – so don’t have a licence in UK – can I take either to the Philippines to use for personal use or is it better to get lighter drone like Mavic mini…. To get under 250grams…?
    Do I need a carnet or any certifications or licences ?
    Will take out drone insurance through uk drone club…. For worldwide cover…
    Thanks so much for your time..
    Kindest regards

    March 13, 2023 at 10:27 am
    • Alexa from the Philippine Drone Network Reply

      Hi Nick. The DJI Spark is fine to use in the Philippines without a certificate. The requirement for certification is for larger drones or if you plan to provide commercial services/charge money to fly your drone.

      March 13, 2023 at 4:53 pm
      • June Reply

        Hi, me and my husband have a small monetized youtube chanel. We are visiting the Philippines soon. He have his license here in the US to fly the drone. What are the requirements to get certificate in the Philippines?

        September 4, 2023 at 9:58 pm
        • Alexa from the Philippine Drone Network Reply

          Hi June. Your husband can get his license validated here which will be the equivalent of the RPA Controller Certificate. Please call the CAAP office to start the proceess.

          October 4, 2023 at 12:29 pm
  • Justin Ray Reply

    Is posting drone footage on youtube considered “commercial service/ charging money”?

    August 24, 2023 at 10:46 am

Leave a comment or ask a question here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Philippine Drone News, Case Studies, and Industry Updates