Projects Abroad volunteers take part in building volunteer work in the Phillippines to help construct water sanitation building

Building Volunteer Work in the Philippines

Get your hands dirty helping to improve sanitation facilities for families in the Philippines

Take part in building volunteer work in the Philippines and construct toilets for disadvantaged communities in rural areas. You’ll help local builders and tradesmen to assemble these vital facilities. Our focus is on providing toilets for people with disabilities, as they’ve been identified as having the greatest need.

There is a major shortage of proper sanitation facilities in the Philippines. This results in undignified, unsafe, and unclean living conditions. For disabled people, this is an extra burden. By taking part in building volunteer work in the Philippines, you’ll work towards addressing real needs in a local community.

See the physical results of your hard work, and how it can positively impact the lives of families. The more volunteers we have, the more resources we have to build more toilets. We need you to help us achieve our goals.

While you’re here, you’ll get to experience a different way of life. Immerse yourself in the local culture, spend time with your host family and explore all that the Philippines has to offer.

When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on (+1) 212 244 7234 to see if we can offer a discount.

Project Overview

Trip Format:

Flexi Trips - A flexible project that gives you the support and independence you need as you volunteer

Project Name:

Philippines > Building

Start Dates:

Completely flexible dates

Minimum Duration:

One Week

Placement Location:

Bogo City, San Remigio (Read More)


Host family Read More

Requirements :

Anyone aged 16 or over can join

What's included in the price?
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • Access to our alumni services and discounts

  • Visa support and advice

  • Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website

  • Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor

  • Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination

  • A cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

What's not included?
  • Flights

  • Visa costs (where applicable)

Volunteers secure a structure as part of disaster relief during their building volunteer work in the Phillippines.

Is building volunteer work in the Philippines right for me?

Are you willing to use your own two hands to make a tangible difference? Want to do something that will have a lasting impact on the lives of others? Then construction volunteering in the Philippines is perfect for you.

You’ll be supervised by our building manager, and learn from local tradesmen and builders. They’ll teach you everything you need to know, and ensure that you’re doing everything correctly. It’s also a great way for you to learn valuable life skills like teamwork, problem solving, and working with people from different cultures.

You don’t need to have any previous construction experience. All we require is a willingness to work hard and learn. You do need to be in a reasonably fit condition, however.

Your safety is incredibly important to us. On the worksite, you’ll have personal protective equipment, constant supervision, and we’ll instruct you in various safety measures.

You can join this placement for any length of time, starting from one week onwards. Start and end dates are flexible, so you can choose what suits you. However, the longer you stay, the greater impact you will have, and the more projects you’re likely to see completed.

What will I do on this project?

You’ll be working on our building site and you’ll get your hands dirty helping to improve quality of life for a local family. Here are just some of the things you’ll do:

  • Build toilet blocks for local families
  • Manufacture toilet bowls for rural households
  • Learn about local masonry and carpentry practices

Your work will focus on the following areas:

Build toilet blocks for local families

The first phase of this project involves building the actual toilet cubicles for local households. You will dig and lay foundations, mix cement, cut lumber, and install roofing, among other tasks. 

Manufacture toilet bowls for rural households

The second part of building toilet facilities involves the manufacture of the toilet bowls themselves. As a volunteer, you will be taught to mix cement and pour it into a cast to set. You will then paint the finished product.

Learn about local masonry and carpentry practices

All your work takes place under the supervision of the Projects Abroad building manager. We also have the help of local builders and tradesmen. This is a great opportunity to learn about local building practices, such as masonry and carpentry. It can be very interesting to see how this work gets done, especially with limited resources.

Where in the Philippines will I work?

You will work in two locations, the Municipality of San Remigio and Bogo City. They are only 12 km apart, so it’s quite quick to travel between them.

Bogo City

Neighbouring Bogo City is relatively young, having only been established in 2007. Around 5% of the households here lack proper sanitation facilities. It has most of the modern amenities you might need, as well as a number of local landmarks which are worth visiting.

San Remigio

San Remigio is situated in the northwestern part of Cebu Island. Over 3,000 households in this area do not have their own toilets. It’s a small town, with a mix of modern amenities such as ATMs, grocery stores, and beachside restaurants. The rural parts of the town don’t have as many modern facilities.


When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Philippines Arrival Procedures page.

Projects Abroad volunteers can be seen helping to build schools and classroom for much needed disaster relief as part of their building volunteer work in the Phillippines.

A typical day on the Philippines Building Project

You will work from around 8.30am until 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. You will also have time for a lunch break at the building site.

Wake up in the home of your host family, and enjoy a hearty breakfast in preparation for the day ahead. Travel to your placement in a minivan with your fellow building volunteers.

Your daily activities will depend on which stage the building is at: for example, moulding toilet bowls or actually constructing the cubicle. Before you begin for the day, you and your fellow volunteers will discuss what needs to be done with the building supervisor. On any given day, you’ll dig foundations, mix cement, or paint.

Please note that some days are entirely dedicated to constructing the actual bathroom, and others to manufacturing the toilet bowls. We recommend staying for at least two weeks if you’d like the chance to participate in a full toilet building project from start to finish.

Once you’re done for the day, it’s time for some well-deserved relaxation. We organise regular volunteer socials, so you can get to know each other while having fun. Or why not spend time getting to know your host family over a delicious home-cooked meal? Explore the town, bask on the white sand beaches, or try some Filipino cuisine at a local restaurant.

Projects Abroad volunteer is pictured with a local building helping to rebuild homes and schools as part of a disaster relief project during his building volunteer work in the Phillippines.

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is to improve sanitation by building toilets for families in these areas. This in turn improves community health, and ensures their privacy and safety. 

Around 26 million Filipinos do not have access to a proper toilet. Within the areas we work, 26% of the households in San Remigio and 5% of the households in Bogo City don’t have this basic but vital facility. This means that millions of people openly defecate, which contaminates water supplies and spreads disease.

We are currently prioritising those with disabilities, as we have identified them as most in need of support. In fact, our ongoing work to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities has been recognised by local authorities.

In January 2018, we handed over 200 new toilet bowls to the Municipality of San Remigio in the presence of the mayor. These will be given to families who do not currently have any toilet facilities, including people with disabilities.

We hope to achieve even more in the months to come! With your help, we aim to build at least two toilets per month. The more volunteers who join, the greater impact we can make to improve the quality of life for local families.

Measuring Our Impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.


You'll stay with a host family in Bogo City. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of the Philippines and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.


The Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, so naturally there are some beautiful beaches where you can relax during your free time. However, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy during your trip.

With white-sand beaches come all the exciting activities associated with living close to the sea. You can go snorkelling through the pristine waters, play volleyball, or relax on the sand as the sun sets.

In Cebu City itself, you can explore the traditional Carbon Market. For an insight into the country’s history, you can visit Fort San Pedro and Magellan's Cross. Here, you’ll learn more about the Spanish conquest.

The Spanish influence is also felt in the regular fiestas and street parades held in the Philippines. If you volunteer around the end of January, you’ll even get to experience the Sinulog Festival, a nine day Mardi Gras-style party.

With so many volunteers joining us throughout the year, there will likely be other volunteers in the Philippines during your trip. You can connect with them and explore as a group or travel independently if you prefer. 


Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

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