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Environmental and Conservation Volunteer Program in Palawan - The Phillipines

The island of Palawan is world famous for its stunning natural environment, with pristine beaches, green bushland and crystal clear water. However, like many places around the world, it still requires work to maintain, restore and conserve its natural beauty.

As an Environmental volunteer, you’ll be based in the mangrove area to help rehabilitate this vital habitat for local marine and bird life. The mangroves have declined in recent years, and play a huge role in both cleaning the sea water and protecting the shore line from storm surges and erosion.

Environmental volunteer in the Philippines with IVHQ

You’ll be a volunteer conservationist, helping primarily to replant and rehabilitate mangroves. You can also volunteer on litter and mangrove education programs in local schools and communities, gather seeds that slow erosion and deforestation and help to clean up local beaches.

If you’re someone who loves the outdoors and cares about protecting the environment, this is a great project for you! You don’t need any conservation experience as you’ll be volunteering under the direction of experienced local staff.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $260 for 1 week
  • Help to preserve and conserve the natural environment around Palawan

  • Focus on rehabilitating and replanting important mangrove forests

  • Educate locals about conservation efforts including in mangroves, litter and on beach clean ups

  • Suitable for those who care about the environment and want to help to tackle the challenges of climate change

  • Volunteer up to 5 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Philippines at a glance
  • Based on the island of Palawan in the Philippines

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a volunteer dormitory

  • Between 10 and 40 volunteers start in the Philippines each month

The IVHQ Philippines volunteer program is based in the Aborlan District in Palawan - often considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Volunteers are required to fly into Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS), which is a 7 to 9 hour flight from most major airports in Australia. This is where volunteer orientation and general administration is carried out by our local team. Placements are located in and around the Aborlan District.

The Philippines volunteer program begins every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.

The program orientation is held every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Palawan on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS) between 10am and 5pm. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarised letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Tigman Village. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are travelling in the Philippines prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Puerto Princesa on the day before your program orientation.

There are two options for orientation in the Philippines. The first option is a one-day orientation that begins on your selected start date, which all volunteers will attend. This covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in the Philippines, including an introduction to the IVHQ Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, you’ll learn about the projects, take a walking tour of the local area and arrange your sim card. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

The second option is an Introduction Week, hosted by our Philippines team in Palawan. The Introduction Week begins on your selected start date and your volunteer program will commence the following week. The Introduction Week is very popular among IVHQ volunteers and we recommend all volunteers take advantage of this week, as you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Filipino culture, a true appreciation of life in the Philippines and bond with your fellow volunteers. Plus, it’s a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in the Philippines. Introduction Week in the Philippines does incur an additional US$20 surcharge to cover the additional costs.

If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate your interest in this option on your application form when you apply for the program or you can let your Program Manager know once you’ve been accepted on the program.

The Introduction Week schedule is outlined below:

Monday: Start off with an introduction to the Philippines program, the local team, general rules and a class on the local culture and language. In the afternoon, learn about the local projects, take a walking tour of the local area, and arrange your sim card
Tuesday: In the morning, take a tour of a local farm to gain an insight into local agriculture. After lunch, take part in a Filipino craft workshop, either weaving coconut leaves or making a local broom, and finish the day off with a Filipino cooking class
Wednesday: Visit downtown Puerto Princesa with a trip to the famous local church and memorial park. After lunch in Puerto Princesa, visit the Palawan Museum, followed by some shopping at the local mall
Thursday: Volunteers meet to discuss their upcoming volunteer placements and receive the placement-specific orientation
Friday: You will have the opportunity to spend time volunteering on your placement to help your prepare for the upcoming week

Please note, this schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the project, local and weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.

Weekdays: After the initial orientation week, you will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day and a typical schedule is as follows:

8.00AM: Breakfast with fellow volunteers.

9.00 - 11.30AM: Volunteers work at their placements.

11.30AM: Volunteers break for lunch. If volunteers are unable to return to the volunteer accommodation, they will be given a packed lunch.

1.30 - 2PM: Work at the placement resumes (except Kindergarten volunteers, who use their afternoons to prepare for the following day)

3.30 - 4PM: Work ends and volunteers have free time to explore the local area.

5 - 6.00PM: Dinner with fellow volunteers.

Please note this schedule varies from project to project.

Volunteers are accommodated in dormitory-style accommodation, located within Tigman Village, where the local team’s office is based. Volunteers should expect to share a room with up to 7 other volunteers of the same gender. The accommodation provides air-conditioning in the bedrooms, a shared bathroom with western toilets and bucket showers with cold running water (nice and refreshing in the hot weather!). A fridge is available to store your personal items and an area for hand washing laundry. Bedding is provided and includes a bottom sheet, thin blanket and a pillow.

For those volunteers wanting more comfortable accommodation or a private room, accommodation upgrades can sometimes be arranged. As this is not always available, this needs to be discussed with the local team directly once you arrive in-country. Please note that if you choose to upgrade, this will most likely be at a nearby resort and will be at an additional cost to yourself and won’t result in a reduction of your Program Fees. Volunteers can expect to pay approximately PHP2000 (US$40 (AU$58)) per night for private accommodation. ​

Given the remote island location, internet and phone reception at the accommodation site is limited and often non-existent. While at times there may be 3G WiFi dongles for volunteers to connect to, you shouldn’t expect to have the same connection speed that you are used to at home. There is better reception and internet available from some of the nearby villages (10 to 15 minute drive from the volunteer accommodation), or in Puerto Princesa City (60 to 90 minute drive). We recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card with data when you arrive in the Philippines. You can then use this to access the internet in the nearby villages.

Volunteers are served three meals on weekdays (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with two meals provided on the weekends. Breakfast consists of bread and spreads with tea or coffee, while lunch and dinner consist of local Filipino cuisine. Rice is a staple in the Philippines and most meals will include a portion of rice, accompanied by two or more dishes which will be a combination of vegetables, meat or seafood cooked in local spices and sauces.

“This was my first volunteer project with IVHQ and it’ll definitely not be the last! The online support and resources were really helpful along with the processes in applying - super simple! I only had a 2 week trip at Tigman Village and my only regret was not staying longer! The people were so welcoming, the location was beautiful and the support throughout was above and beyond.” - Cindy Yin (Kindergarten Volunteer in the Philippines)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in the Philippines here

Philippines

Length of Program Program Fee $USD
1 week $260
2 weeks $405
3 weeks $550
4 weeks $690
5 weeks $830
6 weeks $970
8 weeks $1,150
10 weeks $1,330
12 weeks $1,480
16 weeks $1,780
20 weeks $2,080
24 weeks $2,380
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • To see prices in your local currency, use this currency converter.
  • The Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$50 per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project. Philippines Introduction Week incurs a US$20 surcharge.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from placement if required.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Philippines generally find US$30 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

During the weekend, volunteers have free time to relax and explore the local area, or travel further afield. There are plenty of things to do and see around Palawan and volunteers are able to go white water rafting, visit local markets or relax poolside. For those volunteers interested in travelling further afield there are many great destinations to choose from including El Nido, Coron and many other nearby islands around Palawan. There are also many near our program location as well with volunteers able to enjoy a relaxing weekend by the beach, downtown Puerto Princesa to get your city fix or trekking up mount Tundalara or Ugong.

See our Philippines Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Philippines.

Capital Manila
Population 100 million
Languages Filipino, English
Currency Philippine Peso (PHP)
Time zone UTC+08:00

Weather and climate: The Philippines has a hot and humid climate all year round, with average temperatures between 25°C and 28°C (77°F to 83°F). The coolest months are in November through to January where average temperatures fall below 30°C (86°F). The hottest months are April through to May, where the average temperature sits above 30°C (86°F). The dry season runs from January through to June. The wet season runs from July through to December.

Volunteers who are under 18 years old will be required to provide IVHQ with parental consent and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team. Independent volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a health certificate indicating that they are fit for the program in terms of physical, mental and emotional health. The IVHQ Philippines volunteer program is not able to accept participants under the age of 18 with psychological, serious heart or serious allergy health concerns. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in The Philippines.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!