Work and Travel in Philippines
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN PHILIPPINES FOR TRAVELLERS
The Philippines is a collection of hundreds of island paradises in the warm waters of the Pacific. You’ll find many volunteering opportunities on the Philippines. You can always find work in the Philippines even if you don’t have a huge set of skills.
Despite some negative stories coming from the media, tourists are perfectly safe in this country. As you take advantage of volunteer and paid work opportunities in the Philippines, you’ll discover the magic that this country has to offer. Check out some of the travel guides for the Philippines and start looking up some of the incredible positions available right now.
These are some of the top volunteering opportunities in the Philippines you should look into if you’re planning a trip to this tropical island paradise.
1. Mangrove Conservation
Much of the mangroves in the Philippines were destroyed to make way for shrimp ponds. These shrimp ponds brought short-term financial prosperity, but the long-term ecological effects have been a disaster. Volunteer in the Philippines and you can help replace the mangroves.
Mangrove conservation and rejuvenation is difficult, but you don’t need to have any prior experience in order to take advantage of this.
2. Rehabilitate Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island is one of the most deprived parts of this country. Volunteer in the Philippines and you’ll be helping to clean up the area. If you have some basic construction skills, you’ll be participating in the building of shelters. And even if you don’t have any specific skills you can still spend your time passing out supplies and making vital connections with the local population.
3. Teach English in the Philippines
The Philippines is a Spanish-speaking country and a large proportion of the population lack basic English skills. Teach English in the Philippines and you’ll likely be based on Cebu Island or in the capital of Manila itself. These international schools are there to teach English to people of all ages.
You’ll find it much easier to secure a paid position if you possess a TEFL qualification, or the equivalent of the TEFL. Take note that paid English teaching jobs in the Philippines don’t pay as much as other countries in Asia.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR PHILIPPINES
The vast majority of citizens are able to enter the Philippines without a visa for 30 days, with few exceptions. For example, Brazilians are able to enter the Philippines for 59 days, whereas Indian and Chinese travellers must apply for a visa. But all Westerners are able to enter on a tourist visa.
For volunteering work, applicants must apply for a special non-immigrant visa. In the case of Germans, for example, applicants must be volunteering with an organisation approved by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency. The procedure is practically the same for every country.
On the other hand, if you will be receiving payment when you work and travel in the Philippines you must apply for a non-immigrant visa. The process to get this visa is extremely time-consuming and can be expensive on your part.
The requirements for all nationalities are thus (beyond the usual):
• A copy of a signed employment contract.
• The CV you sent to your employer.
• Passport pictures that must be signed at the bottom on the front.
• Evidence of a full medical examination. This must include a certificate that you don’t have HIV.
As you can imagine, fulfilling these requirements could take months to accomplish. You have to be prepared for that if you want to work in the Philippines and get paid.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN PHILIPPINES
One boom industry open to foreigners in the spring time from January to May is the cruise industry. Cruise ships dock between these months and take on new crew members. They take on both locals and foreigners, so it’s possible to get a cruise contract in the country at this time of year.
If you’re already in Asia, it’s easy to hop across to the Philippines and take on a cruise contract. These contracts typically require a minimum of six months and you’ll usually be deposited back where you started at the end of the contract.
The rainy season in the Philippines means that there are few seasonal opportunities for foreigners. Don’t expect to find much as you travel in the Philippines.
Please refer to the ‘Summer’ section on volunteer opportunities in the Philippines.
When winter begins, the dry season returns. Refer to the ‘Spring’ section for seasonal opportunities in the Philippines. Take note that there are still many year-round volunteering projects you can take advantage of.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN PHILIPPINES
The vast majority of the Philippines is perfectly safe to volunteer in. Take note that the southern end of the Philippines is currently experiencing Islamist guerrilla activity and should be visited with caution.
The rest of the country welcomes foreigners as the majority of the traditional hotspots are nearly entirely reliant on tourism. You’re likely to be targeted by street sellers and tour sellers, but they’re not persistent and are easily brushed off. Ordinary locals, however, don’t see Western visitors as ATMs. If they speak some English they’ll likely be interested in where you came from and why you decided to come to the Philippines.
It should be noted that whilst crime levels are high in parts of the Philippines, particularly in Manila after sunset, if you take normal precautions you won’t run into any problems with the locals here.
If you choose to volunteer in the Philippines you’re going to be able to help this poor country and have an incredible experience at the same time.
Do you have any experiences you would like to share from volunteering in the Philippines?