MARINE CONSERVATION PHILIPPINES
Marine Conservation Philippines is a non-profit NGO working to preserve fragile marine habitats like coral reefs and mangrove forests and improve quality of life for marginalised fisher folk in the central Philippines. MCP is a volunteer based organisation where philippino and international volunteers can join a large professional team of marine biologists, scientists, teachers and dive instructors, and help tackle the myriad problems and issues facing the Oceans today. Participation in the program involves extensive scuba diving activities. Participants need not be qualified divers prior to starting – they can learn as part of the program.In a travel market saturated by green washed volunteer opportunities provided by for-profit companies, this program is the real McCoy.
MCP is a locally registered non-profit working under the auspices of the local government, and in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Department of Natural Resources and several European universities.
Besides volunteer fees, MCP is financially supported by the Rufford Foundation and other international trusts and charities and provides consultancy and aid to the local municipalities in coastal resource management. The staff to volunteer ratio is 1:1 or better and the work of the volunteers makes an actual difference!
MCP accepts volunteers aged 18+. While the program is at times physically strenuous (carrying heavy gear in the sun, swimming against a current etc.) there is not a required fitness level (unless doing divemaster training or technical diving). We find that almost everyone can participate. The program is not suited to people who suffer from chronic back pains or other health issues, which would prevent physical work. As the program involves scuba diving, the volunteers are required to fill out a health questionnaire to ensure they don’t have any medical conditions which would possibly prevent them from diving. The program also requires a minimum commitment of six weeks, but many volunteer stay significantly longer.The average volunteer in in the early or mid-twenties. Most of the time, the distribution of the sexes is around 60% ladies to 40% gents. While the age average is fairly low due to the gap-year segment, as well as a number of university interns, there’s always volunteers in their thirties and usually forties also. The program is very much recommended to the slightly older customers in this age bracket too.MCP welcomes couples, but kindly note that accommodation is shared dorms. Typically, there is a boys dorm, a ladies dorm and two mixed and/or couples dorms.
At Marine Conservation Philippines you will stay in a camp designed for volunteers. It is very cozy and a bond fire place is the center of the NGO. All huts are equipped with bunk beds and there are western toilets. You will be sharing these huts with your fellow volunteers. The atmosphere is very welcoming, relaxed and the idyllic surroundings makes the place so charming. At the NGO everything is about teamwork and hanging out with your new friends, so the kitchen, dining room and hang-out spots are very open and filled with engaging posters as well as environmental reports/work done or being done by the NGO.
The volunteer work is rated as high as it is extensive because you are training to become a certified diver along with supporting a great purpose.Therefore, you will be doing lots of diving to surveying the coral reefs and monitoring the changes in the fish habitat. You will also be helping with the process of cleaning up the beaches and the ocean for the plastics that sits there along with teaching the students in local schools about oceans in general and the marine life. Lots of work to do!
The management has years of experience in diving and the science used at the NGO and necessary for carrying out their mission and reaching their goals to better the lives of the locals and in that, protecting the marine environment. You will get extensive training and go through tests in order to become a certified diver. They do not only teach you how to dive they also teach you how to dive eco friendly. Meaning the way you will dive will be with care for the environment. The structured training as well as the highly skilled teachers will get you there. You are in very good hands!
Becoming an eco-diver is physically hard as it involves carrying scuba gear in hot weather as well as diving a few times a day. In regards to your volunteer application, you will receive a survey created by the NGO to view your health to make sure you can do the diving safely. This means that if you suffer from e.g. heart conditions the NGO must know before continuing the process. Other than that this program will get you in shape in no time!
The location is rated as a medium in the sense that the NGO is located a bit far from the center. About 30 min. from the center by truck or by moto-bike. The idyllic surroundings makes it all worthwhile and you will be close to the ocean of course.
As the NGO usually have a lot of volunteers and a great number of staff there is much social activity going on. You will have many international people to talk to and hangout with and the social activities created by the NGO along with the volunteers will keep you involved at a high level. It is of course also allowed to withdraw and be by yourself whenever you feel like it.
Interview with volunteer and manager.
We interview the people behind the organisation to bring out their passion for their work. They will tell you why they exist, why you should volunteer with them and most importantly, what it means to be a part of Marine Conservation Philippines .
Become an Eco-diver with a PADI certificate - Marine Conservation Philippines
MCP accepts volunteers aged 18+. While the program is at times physically strenuous (carrying heavy gear in the sun, swimming against a current etc.) there is not a required fitness level (unless doing dive master training or technical diving). We find that almost everyone can participate. The program is not suited to people who suffer from chronic back pains or other health issues, which would prevent physical work. As the program involves scuba diving, the volunteers are required to fill out a health questionnaire to ensure they don’t have any medical conditions which would possibly prevent them from diving. The program also requires a minimum commitment of six weeks, but many volunteer stay significantly longer.
The average volunteer in in the early or mid-twenties. Most of the time, the distribution of the sexes is around 60% ladies to 40% gents. While the age average is fairly low due to the gap-year segment, as well as a number of university interns, there’s always volunteers in their thirties and usually forties also. The program is very much recommended to the slightly older customers in this age bracket too.
MCP welcomes couples, but kindly note that accommodation is shared dorms. Typically, there is a boys dorm, a ladies dorm and two mixed and/or couples dorms.
2 dives a day (1 in the day and 1 in the night)
Healthy delicious meals 3 times a day
Letter of volunteer work
Provided proper work clothes
On-sight contact person
Agency contact person
Full nature experience!
In-depth knowledge on eco-diving, coral reefs, species of fish and the decrease/increase in stock
Learn from professionals!
MCP is situated on the island of Negros about 50 kilometres south of Dumaguete Airport (Theairport is sometimes referenced as Sibulan airport, but name confusion aside the code is DGT).Most volunteers arrive and leave via the airport, but for people traveling around the Philippineseither before or after their stay with MCP the ferry terminals in Dumaguete provide convenientaccess to nearby Islands like Siquijor, Bohol and Cebu.
Most nationalities receive 30-days upon arrival into the Philippines. You can extend this visa for a further 60 days at a Philippine Embassy. For formal volunteering in the Philippines, for longer than six months, you may be required to apply for a non-immigrant visa – check with your organization before you travel.
6 weeks minimum
Willingness to learn about diving and undergoing tests and lessons in relation to your PADI certification
Minimum 18 yrs. old
You will be sent a medical document to analyse your health. This must be completed and approved in order to volunteer.
For divemaster certificate the minimum stay varies in regards to your previous diving experience and certificates. Contact us for more information on the divemaster education program.
A meeting with a volunteer consultant will determine if this program is the right match for you.
An additional document of volunteer guidelines will be send to applicants.
18.620 DKK (6 weeks duration)
The fee covers the donation and your professional PADI diver education. The donation covers: accomodation, meals and maintenance costs. Moreover, the fee covers administration costs for Volunteer Abroad.