Rural Healthcare Palawan, Philippines

WHY we need you in the Philippines

rural health clinic volunteering

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?






  MIN AGE: 16+ (guardian advised)



Filipino people in rural communities face major challenges in access to quality healthcare. This placement is for volunteers with a medical background who would like to gain great experience in rural healthcare practices. You may be a student studying medicine or an aspiring medical professional with a strong desire. Every application will be considered as the needs in this area are very great.

Within the rural regions of Aborlan, a number of local inhabitants reside beneath the subsistence threshold. These rural areas are distant from the major urban hospitals. Consequently, residents in these locales often rely on local healthcare centres for their medical needs, given their limited financial means. These healthcare facilities, known as Rural Health Units (RHUs), fall under the jurisdiction of Local Government Units (LGUs) in specific municipalities. 

The Rural Health Unit (RHU) clinic stands as the primary provider of cost-free healthcare services for the surrounding communities. The RHU’s mission is to enhance the overall health of the populace, with special attention to those dwelling below the subsistence level, while concurrently addressing and mitigating public health concerns.

In these rural settings, every day is a new challenge using basic equipment and supplies. You’ll be working with local doctors and nurses to gain first hand knowledge and experience in health practices and treatments.

Volunteers will shadow and work with health professionals in rural community health centres. Volunteers will assist the doctor and get hands-on practice working and interacting with the patients. Some days will be spent in the health centre and other days the volunteer will treat patients in the surrounding villages. The services are generally provided at the clinic, although periodically outreach health services are provided to outlying areas. Volunteers may also assist in administration duties such as designing public health awareness seminars and various community programs.  

Undoubtedly, this placement presents significant challenges, yet it is equally rewarding. Your journey will demand a lot of patience, energy, as well as a strong sense of responsibility and accountability, given the imperative service you will provide to individuals with health issues.

Throughout the duration of the project, punctuality is paramount. Adherence to the regulations established within the Municipal Rural Health Unit is expected, along with a solid understanding of its medical protocols and guidelines. Respect for the unit’s staff and a keen attentiveness to the needs of patients during check-ups are essential. Make the most of your time here and create enduring educational experiences.


Aborlan, situated in the stunning island of Palawan in the Philippines, known for its lush landscapes and rich biodiversity. Aborlan offers a serene escape for those seeking respite from the bustle of urban life. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and incredible wildlife, the town invites adventurers and nature enthusiasts to explore its hidden gems. The projects are located approx 45 min outside the main city of Puerto Princesa where you will be warmly welcomed into the community.  

Project Tasks May Include…

  • Taking patient vitals
  • Obtaining medical history
  • Administering inoculations
  • Assisting with minor surgery
  • Helping with delivery, and conducting medical screens and exams
  • General Outpatient services
  • Preventative health education services
  • Specialist services such as Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Health Promotion for Wellness’ activities in the community by our staff and Community Health Workers
  • Rural Women’s awareness education and empowerment in Reproductive Health
  • Research, training and education

Food & Accommodation

The volunteer centre provides rooms shared with 4-8 people per room, with the houses complete with either a fan or air con, T.V, kitchen, Wifi (this can be limited someties), mosquito protection, bed linen and lockable rooms. Limited laundry facilities, so expect to wash your clothes by hand, unless you’d like to use the laundry service for a small fee.

*Private rooms may be available for a small upgrade, please ask us in advance.

3 meals per day are provided each day (2 on weekends), with mainly local Philippino foods being served, including lots of vegetables, rice, fish, meat and eggs. Meals are served on site at the accommodation.

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $495
  • 2 Weeks - $760
  • 3 Weeks $1100
  • 1 Month - $1475
  • 2 Months - $2950
  • 3 Months - $4350
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



In general, volunteers must have studied a health related subject in University or have requisite experience in the medical field.  Qualified doctors, nurses and public health professionals are desperately needed.

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Your first day will consist of comprehensive overview of the program including what to expect, health and safety, introduction to Filipino culture and introduction to staff and fellow volunteers. A guided city tour is also included for Tacloban placements.

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS). You must arrive between 10:00 – 17:00 on Sunday.

If arriving outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer or any extra nights for an additional fee. 

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From the airport the accommodation, it takes 1.5 hours by road. 

Working hours are generally from 9am to 4pm. Some days will be spent in the health centre and other days the volunteer will treat patients in the surrounding villages.

First MondayBreakfast
Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice, handling of documents & Signing up of relevant documents.
Filipino Do’s and Don’ts, Dress Codes, Filipino Culture Lessons and Basic Filipino Language Lessons.
Tour Around the Local Area, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
Project Meetings, Observation and Preparations with assigned Local Program Coordinator
Cultural Night

Tuesday to Friday
Working at the Municipal Rural Health Unit.
Headed back to the Accommodation Center.
Working at the Municipal Rural Health Unit
Headed back to the Accommodation Center.

Beaches of Boracay

This small island is known for its outstanding natural beauty, and pristine white sand beaches. White beach stretches for 4km and is a popular place to visit. There are plenty of cafes and nightlife, including fire throwers and live music at the bars.

Bohol Chocolate Hills

Take a visit to Bohol island, around an hour from Cebu, and check out the 1200 hills of all shapes and sizes. This stunning natural formation is quite a sight. You can hike or take an ATV ride up the hills.


The Philippines have many amazing dive spots, and some of the most pristine water in the world! With plenty of fish, coral reef and even whale sharks, this is a divers heaven. You can even learn to dive here.

Twin Lagoon on Coron Island

You may have seen images of this spectacular beauty spot online- and it doesn’t disappoint! As well as some incredible diving, you can also explore some stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, or go on a boat tour around these turquoise blue waters.  


For those who love adventurous activities, why not try ziplining?! Check out the stunning one on El Nido, with beautiful views over the beach. It’s 750 metres and will give you that adrenaline kick for sure.


There are plenty of gorgeous places to kayak in the Philippines, and it’s secret lagoons are some of the best spots. Paddle your way through the stunning rock formations and crystal-clear waters.

Vigan Town

This very pretty town has a Hispanic heritage that is evident as you walk through the artsy cobbled streets. Vigan town is on the island of Luzon and is a great weekend trip, with museums, cafes, workshops and quirky sights. For photographers, you can get some pretty shots at dawn, when the town is empty.

Underground River, Palawan

Puerto Princesa is a beautiful river that goes underground, through impressive limestone caves. Book a boat tour to take you through the caves.


The capital city, Manila is a hustling and bustling place, with plenty of culture. Be sure to check out the museums, art galleries, old buildings, cafes and bars.

The following are further necessary in order for both the participants, local staff and everyones involved to have a meaningful, enjoyable and safe community program.

Older participants or over 65 years are required to have a medical clearance as proof of their physical fitness as they may perform various activities.

Participants below 18 years old need a signed parental consent as proof of involvement of their children for the program. If possible, accompaniment by an adult is highly advised.

Digital copy and hard copy of Transcript or Records, CV/Resume and other relevant Due to the length and active nature of this program and as there are lots of medical activities, a decent level of fitness is required.

Excellent time management and self – organizing and strong desire to take on new challenges and learn as much as possible.

Have completed or recommended the following vaccines: Polio, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria/Tetanus, Typhoid, Malaria, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis.

***Please be advised that even though the digital copy is being submitted, all participants should also bring a hard copy of their CV/Resume and Criminal Background Check with them, to be presented to their placement when they arrive.**

Additional Equipment
The Philippines is a Conservative Country, please wear modest clothing covering knees and shoulders. Loose and long clothing is both respectful and tends to keep you cooler in hot climates.

Bring comfortable working clothes (preferably medical uniform) and must follow the dress code policy. You may also bring medical kits or equipment of your preference such as masks, gloves, etc.

The Philippines consists of more than 7000 islands and is a land apart from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The people are, simply, Filipinos – and proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.

Islands are jungle-clad, mountainous and flanked by aquamarine waters and a world renowned coral reef. But you’ll find plenty of variations on this theme, from marooned slicks of sand in the middle of the ocean to sprawling, overpopulated mega-islands like Luzon and Mindanao.

About half of the Philippines’ 88 million people live in rural areas. Poverty is most severe and most widespread in these areas and almost 80 per cent of the country’s poor people live there. Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people.

Overall, more than a third of the people in the Philippines live in poverty. There are substantial differences in the level of poverty between the regions and provinces and the poverty gap between urban and rural areas is widening.

November to April is the most popular time to visit the Philippines, as this is when there is the least rainfall. 

June to October is wet season and November to May is usally dry. Shoulder months can be a great time to travel as you can still get some good weather but there are less crowds.  The island weather can vary, so it’s worth checking the weather for which islands you will be visiting at which time of year. 

The Philppines has a big Latin and Spanish influence, due to the previous Spanish rule. Evidence of this can be seen throughout the Philippines. The Filipino people are very welcoming, like to have close family bonds, and getting together with friends and family to eat, sing and dance. They are also very religious and most go to church at least every Sunday. 

Filipino people have a great respect for thier elders, saying the phrases ‘po’ and ‘opo’, when speaking with thier elders. They love a good party and festival, particually Christmas which they can celebrate right into the second week of January!

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in the Philippines?