The Philippines

The Philippines

Flag of the Philippines
Secure livelihoodsParticipation and governance iconDisability

VSO Philippines is a recruitment base and manages its own development programmes as well as a national volunteer programme in the Philippines. We have worked in the country since 1999.

94 852 030
Capital city
GDP per capita
US$3 478
HDI ranking
112 out of 187
Life expectancy
69 years

VSO Philippines works in the areas of:

Inclusive peace-building

Mindanao is one of the poorest regions of the Philippines and has experienced many years of conflict. VSO Philippines supports a group that promotes community-enabling actions for peace and development in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Davao. We provide national volunteers and support local volunteers to work with community organisations to help local people to recover from the emotional trauma of conflict, to increase their participation in community development,  and generate income so their children can go to school. and to build resilient communities where peace and development thrive.

Model Forest

In Samar and Bohol, we partner with government agencies and local watershed councils (community groups that protect and restore areas of high ground where water flows down to a river) through the Model Forest Project. The project aims to improve the quality of life of local people by building climate change resiliency among forest and coastal communities based on the local eco system. Both projects are members of the International Model Forest Network.

In the past year, long- and short- term Cuso International volunteers with competencies in ecotourism business development, payment for ecosystem services advisers and natural resource managers have been deployed to Bohol and Samar.  They have been complemented by Filipino national volunteers who build the capacities partners on organizational management, ecotourism and business development.

Several youth volunteer teams have been deployed to support the Council’s watershed and environmental communications and advocacy programme as well as in mobilising communities for reforestation and improved watershed management.

VSO Philippines and the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) will soon be signing a long-term partnership agreement. This will enable to Carood Model Forest to receive much-needed volunteer inputs on enterprise planning, marketing, advocacy and organizational development.

Disaster risk reduction and management

VSO works with local government to train them on how to mobilise volunteers in the aftermath of a natural disaster. 

Our two-week training course volunteer programme and development management provide practical approach to building effect volunteering programmes. For example, after receiving our training, the Municipality of Hagonoy was able to implement volunteer management systems for the local government and the private sector. This allows Hagonoy to effectively respond to multiple threats and vulnerabilities brought about by chronic flooding, environmental degradation and sea-level rise. 

VSO currently supports an ecosystems approach to planning that now involves Hagonoy and seven  other coastal towns in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.  National volunteers have been tapped to facilitate such an iterative planning process. 


Discrimination, negative attitudes and superstitions regarding disability often prevent disabled people in the Philippines to participate fully in society. For example, there is generally a low turnout of disabled voters at elections because of a lack of awareness and accessibility. However, with funding from AusAID and The Asia Foundation, VSO is running a project in Cebu to get more disabled people to vote and take an active role in society. ‘This project will conduct massive voter registration activities, develop election materials that are accessible, mobilise national and local volunteers who will assist disabled people to promote accessibility and electoral rights.

In 2011, we partnered with volunteer organisation Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme to raise awareness of deaf people and their rights as citizen. We did this with local volunteer-interpreters through mainstreaming of Filipino Sign Language in TV news broadcasts in partnership with ABS-CBN in four key cities and regions of the Philippines.

Contact us

Get in touch with VSO The Philippines at:
Unit 16, 12th floor, AIC-Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Avenue corner Sapphire & Garnet Roads, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Find out about volunteering

By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?