The rural medical volunteer program opportunity in Philippines is dedicated to provide medical assistance for the locals, as well as gain perspective on the healthcare situation in the Philippines. Under this project VolSol volunteers get the opportunity to work in under-funded clinics based in the rural areas outside Tacloban City. These are basically rural clinics and face shortage of manpower and skilled hands. Our volunteers would be required to assist the clinic staff and doctors with regular health care activities.
Medical Volunteers can make significant impact in the lives of the locals by working at the clinic and providing free medical services to them. On the brighter side, volunteers get to perform in a pressure pit, pushing their limits and also gaining practical hands- on knowledge while at it. This is a special medical volunteering opportunity in rural areas where in volunteers get involved with other public health projects, such as Annual Medical Mission or Annual Medical Check-up for all children enrolled under various social development projects. By volunteering at this site, students embarking on a career in health care will be able to gain valuable experience. Established professionals will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills whilst learning about health care conditions in Philippines.
Participants joining this program must be a medical student, nursing student, nurse, doctor or other medical specialist. The project has a minimum participation requirement of 4 weeks.
Volunteers may also have the opportunity to assist in pre-natal seminars and other community based health workshops.
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For programs in the Philippines, it is advised to apply as soon as possible after you have decided on your choice of program and the desired dates. Every program has limited number of spots available and due to this reason, volunteers are requested to book their spot as soon as the dates are decided. We abide by the first come first serve policy.
The projects are based in Tacloban City on the island of Leyte in Eastern Visayas. Tacloban is approximately 360 miles southwest of Manila and is well-known as the site of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur’s Leyte Gulf Landing, which marked the start of a fierce campaign to regain the Philippines from Japan during World War II.
Tacloban also is the site of the prestigious San Juanico Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the Philippines. This bridge connects the islands of Leyte and Samar and is a key link in the Pan-Philippines Highway, which connects the Philippines islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao through a network of roadway, bridges, and ferries.
Tacloban is the capital of Leyte Province and has a population of about 240,000. It is not a popular tourist destination and does not attract many foreign visitors. For this reason, Tacloban offers our international volunteers an opportunity to be immersed in a unique Asian culture.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After the application is accepted, your placement document shall be updated in your account online and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Philippines volunteer projects:
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteers should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Participants must be in good health.
Participants need to provide a copy of their Resume/CV as well as Criminal Background Check Report for those participants working in projects with children.
Yes, you are welcome to take part in Tacloban Volunteer Program as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the Philippines program. We can provide customized group volunteering opportunities depending on the group’s requirements and suitability.
All volunteers need to arrive in Tacloban on the starting date of the program. Volunteers are picked up by the local coordinator or representative from Tacloban airport and are taken to the host family accommodation. Once you come out of the airplane, you will be directed to enter the airport terminal through the back of the building, as the airport is not fully repaired from the damages sustained during the typhoon in November 2013; though it is getting better. At the exit area, the local staff representative will be waiting for your arrival with a sign board. After receiving, you will be taken to the community where most homestays and the main local office are located. The ride is about 10 to 15 minutes long.
Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have the weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Citizens of most countries can enter the Philippines and get a Visa on arrival at the airport for a period of 30 days. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the Philippines. Visas can also be extended while you are in the Philippines. Volunteers participating in the long-term programs can apply for Visa beforehand at the nearest Philippines embassy.
You will need to arrive in Manila and from there take a connecting flight to Tacloban City. Manila is well connected with direct flights from major international locations. The Daniel Z Romualdez Airport (Airport Code: TAC) in Tacloban is the main gateway from Manila and Cebu to the Visayas Region. AirAsia Zest, Pal Express, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Airlines have flights from Manila to Tacloban.
Tacloban City is a tourist friendly city and Philippines is a largely safe country. The Volunteers are, however, advised to travel in groups, not venture alone at nights and take the basic safety precautions. All volunteers must consult the coordinators before planning a night out and take the necessary safety tips, too. Leyte Island is generally safe for travelers. As with any other country, tourists and visitors must always take precautions when traveling abroad.
We recommend you to consult your physician or travel doctor before traveling to the Philippines. However, we recommend you take general vaccinations like
1. Hepatitis A and B
3. Malaria tablets
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travelers who are arriving from, or have transited through, countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. To view the coverage details, please click here.
Your project coordinator will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc.
Before starting your project, you will be given an extensive orientation that will include how to get to, and back from, your project; how to get to, and back from the downtown - the location of ATMs, restaurants, souvenir stores, and where money changers are, as well as a brief introduction to Filipino culture and etiquette.
The 'Jeepney', a colorful bus made from former U.S. Service vehicles is the most common form of transportation in the Philippines and covers short to medium sized journeys. This is the most common mode of transport for the volunteers in Tacloban.
For longer journeys, there are conventional buses, whilst motorcycles, tricycles, and private hire taxis, called 'Spider Cabs', can also be used for midrange journeys. If you're looking to just go down the road, you can ride a pedicab, a converted bicycle with attached sidecart.
Volunteering Solutions arranges accommodation for volunteers with a local Filipino host family in the local community. Staying with a local family is exciting and a part of the cultural experience and immersion as you get to know about their way of life, customs and traditions.
These are screened, well respective members of the local community who have been accommodating volunteers for many years. You will be given either a private or shared bedroom in which you will have a secure luggage storage (bring your own padlock), mosquito neck and electric fan. You will also have access to safe drinking water.
We ask volunteers to be considerate regarding their electricity consumption.
Volunteers will be provided with two meals a day (breakfast and dinner), these meals will vary but will usually be traditional Filipino meals, be prepared to eat a lot of rice!
Volunteers do get weekends free for doing sightseeing and socializing with other volunteers in the program. Tacloban City has amenities for almost every kind of traveler, from the Robinsons Shopping Mall to beautiful sun-swept beaches on the outskirts of the City. What you get up to during your time off is completely up to you, however, our staff can provide you with help in planning your trip.
Volunteers also enjoy relaxing at the many beach resorts, most predominantly the Tadjaw beach resort near the municipality of Tolosa. For those of you that are looking further afield for more exciting opportunities, you can plan a weekend getaway to Cebu, or to visit the Chocolate Hills on Bohol or the Sohoton Caves on Samar.
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as local transport, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $50-$70 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on different weekend trips out of town.
The local partner office currently has internet access and wifi capabilities, but volunteers should be mindful of their internet use since the staff members are also sharing the internet connections for general business operations. Volunteers can also visit a handful of coffee shops in downtown Tacloban (our volunteer coordinator will show you how to get to and from downtown during your city tour), which is a 15-25 minute ride from your homestay, that have wifi connection, as well as small internet cafes where you can pay per hour for computer/internet use.
All homestay families will provide clean drinking water for their volunteers. Mineral water is also widely available in small shops throughout the neighborhood as well as at larger grocery stores. When being served water at restaurants it is always important to ask if the water is mineral water and if the ice is made from tap water.
You Program Fee includes your Pre-Departure booklet, airport pick-up once you arrive in the Philippines, orientation about the project and a city tour on the first day. It also includes your accommodation on same gender sharing basis as well as meals as mentioned in the program schedule.
We can arrange for airport drop at an extra cost.
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
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