Philippines Reef Conservation Project - Southern Leyte

The Philippines lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle; a region of the Indo-Pacific celebrated as the most diverse marine ecosystem on the planet. The waters around the 7000 islands that make up the archipelago are home to a staggering diversity of life, from tiny pygmy seahorses to large ocean wanders like whale sharks and manta rays. Coral Cay is at the forefront of efforts to conserve this beautiful ecosystem and ensure its long term future.

Project aims

Coral Cay Conservation has been operating in the Philippines since 1995 and moved to our current location in Southern Leyte in 2002. Since then we have been working closely with our project partners the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI) and the Provincial Government of Southern Leyte (PGSL) to survey and monitor the coastal resources of Sogod Bay. Following our holistic, three tiered structure of scientific assessment, education and capacity building we aim to support a lasting legacy of conservation throughout the province.

Our survey effort is currently focused on establishing and assessing Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Surveys are conducted both inside and outside MPAs in order to assess their biological state and help inform future management decisions. The community education programmes led by our dedicated education staff spread the message of marine conservation to schools and universities throughout Southern Leyte. In conjunction with training programmes and scholarships for local stakeholders these initiatives aim to ignite a passion for the marine world and provide the region with trained individuals ready to continue the existing conservation effort.

Volunteers: How will you help?

Volunteering for Coral Cay in the Philippines will place you at the forefront of marine conservation in the Indo-Pacific. You will receive all the scientific and PADI SCUBA diving training you will need to become an important member of our survey effort. As part of a survey team you will dive on some of the most diverse and beautiful reefs in the world, collecting vital information on the health of the marine ecosystem. The data that you gather will feed directly into the management recommendations for conserving the beautiful marine resources of Sogod Bay.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to be involved with our education and capacity building programmes. Working closely with local scholars and school groups you will help inspire the next generation of reef custodians.


View our video about life on site here.

The project site

The Philippine base is located in the small village of Napantao close to the municipal capital town, San Francisco. Sitting right on the water front it boasts both direct access to the Napantao MPA and spectacular views across Sogod Bay. Diving within the MPA is arguably some of the best in the Philippines and is where all of our training is conducted. Accommodation consists of dormitory style bunk rooms with space for between four and six people. A large communal area and classroom provide lots of space for evening meals, lectures and relaxing at the end of a long days diving. A very short walk from base you will find a beautiful white sand beach and the mooring for our trusty dive boat Banakun.

Costs and Dates







Returning Volunteer





















































Volunteers are welcome to join the project for longer than 16 weeks, please contact us to discuss your options.


Expedition Code  Dive Trainee Qualified Diver
PHI 14/04 02-Apr-14 09-Apr-14
PHI 14/05 30-Apr-14 07-May-14
PHI 14/06 28-May-14   04-Jun-14
PHI 14/07 25-Jun-14 02-Jul-14 - FULL
PHI 14/08 23-Jul-14- FULL 30-Jul-14 - FULL
PHI 14/09 20-Aug-14 27-Aug-14
PHI 14/10 17-Sep-14 24-Sep-14
PHI 14/11 15-Oct-14 22-Oct-14
PHI 14/12 12-Nov-14 19-Nov-14
Christmas Break- Closed between 20-Dec-14 and 07-Jan-15
PHI 15/01 07-Jan-15 14-Jan-15
PHI 15/02 04-Feb-15 11-Feb-15
PHI 15/03 04-Mar-15 11-Mar-15
 PHI 15/04 01-Apr-15 08-Apr-15
PHI 15/05 29-Apr-15 06-May-15
PHI 15/06 27-May-15 03-Jun-15
PHI 15/07 24-Jun-15 01-Jul-15
PHI 15/08 22-Jul-15 29-Jul-15
PHI 15/09 19-Aug-15 26-Aug-15
PHI 15/10 16-Sep-15 23-Sep-15
PHI 15/11 14-Oct-15 21-Oct-15
PHI 15/12 11-Nov-15 18-Nov-15

For more information and costs and dates for other locations visit our Costs and Dates page

Before booking please consider the following points:

1: Coral Cay’s project sites are closed for two weeks over the Christmas period.

2: Volunteers joining a Coral Cay expedition for a two week period may not complete their skills development programme and may not get the opportunity to carry out any marine surveys.