The quake measured a preliminary 7.0 magnitude and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the US geological survey said.
The earthquake was felt in nearby cities and provinces in the region, the Philippine institute of volcanology and seismology said.
The USGS said there was a low likelihood of casualties or damage. The US tsunami warning system said there was no tsunami threat. Deep earthquakes generally cause less damage on the Earth’s surface.
The southern Davao region has been battered by powerful earthquakes set off by local fault lines in recent years.
The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur. It is also lashed by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people in the northern Philippines in 1990.