Peace Corps Philippines is the agency’s second-oldest country program. In October 1961, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Manila to work throughout the country as English language, mathematics, and science teachers. Since then, more than 8,800 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Philippines.
Beginning in the 1970s, Peace Corps Philippines decreased the education component of its program and focused on social and economic development in rural areas. Volunteers worked on projects in health and nutrition, appropriate technology, water sanitation, agricultural extension, marketing cooperatives, fisheries, income generation, agroforestry, upland community development, vocational education, deaf education, local development planning, and small business development.
From the mid-1980s through the ’90s, Volunteers once again worked in schools, this time as teacher trainers at the high-school level, while others were assigned to projects in health, agriculture, fisheries, agroforestry, income generation, and local development planning.
In June 1990, the Peace Corps suspended the Philippines program due to security concerns. The program resumed in 1992 with Volunteers working in coastal resources management, health and nutrition, water sanitation, and local development planning. In the past decade, the Peace Corps has sustained a strong programmatic commitment to environmental protection while also focusing on academic education and assistance to particularly vulnerable Filipinos.
At present, 180 Volunteers work alongside Filipino counterparts to teach students and train teachers; strengthen organizations working with children, youth, and families at risk; and assist communities in the management and conservation of coastal resources.
Peace Corps Response Volunteers also serve in the Philippines. Response Volunteers work on short-term assignments and generally have more specialized skills. They support Peace Corps' core strategic areas, including disaster preparedness, youth development, HIV/AIDS, organizational development, among others. In the Philippines, the five program areas where Peace Corps Response program may provide assistance are: (1) disaster risk reduction and management; (2) environment; (3) education; (4) child, youth and family and (5) HIV/AIDS.