MMI in Philippines
MMI Philippines is one of the focused destinations for our Surgical Teams. Projects are led by longtime MMI Asia Project Director, Dr. Allan Melicor, who has been serving patients with MMI teams for over 15 years in various Philippines projects, such as Aguinaldo, Tboli & Palawan, and Aurora & Ifugao. Dr. Allan and the teams have contributed enormously to the patients who need support after one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record, Typhoon Haiyan, known as "Super Typhoon Yolanda" in the Philippines, hit the Philippines in 2013. MMI has had a long-term relationship with Bethel Baptist Hospital in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Allan B. Melicor, M.D.
Dr. Allan B. Melicor is a General, Cancer and Laparoscopic Surgeon serving with MMI as a Project Director throughout Asia. Allan was trained in the Philippines, U.S.A., U.K., and Japan. He lives with his wife Blessie, an RN, and son Allen Paul in the Philippines. They were introduced to MMI in 1994 when a surgical team went to the Philippines. After volunteering that year, Allan has continued to host projects at the Bethel Baptist Hospital in Bukidnon, Aklan Baptist Hospital, Leyte Baptist Hospital & Leyte Province, Palawan Baptist Hospital and in North and South Palawan, the Tboli Evangelical Clinic and various places in Northern Philippines, as well as in Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Related to his mission with MMI, Dr. Allan Melicor stated:
"We are gathering to show the love of Christ through our words and deeds. As we are representing Jesus to the people, our behavior needs to represent our faith. We ask that you pray in preparation for this project. Please pray that the people we are going to help and our local partners can discover God through the service we will share with them. We will be praying that your preparation and departure from North America to Philippines goes well as we work together to meet the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors."
This is Jan, our Philippines project miracle baby. In the photo, he just arrived to our Project Team when he was 27-days-old. He was sent to us by the governor of the province with a non-reducible hernia. He was gravely ill. Had our team not been available, he would likely have not have survived. The closest local surgeon was 5 hours away, the family could not afford to take the baby there. We believe God placed our team at the right place at the right time. He underwent emergency surgery and did very well.
Amazing "before and after" photos show the life changing work of MMI for this Philippino man. He is a 45-year-old man who had a goiter that was slowly increasing in size for 14 years. The surgery was successful, and the patient was discharged two days after his surgery.
MMI's lead staff in the Philippines, Dr. Allan Melicor, and the team has worked in the Philippines for over 15 years. Serving patients and helping to make their lives healthier and more meaningful is always our ultimate goal!
Aguinaldo & Mayoyao
Aguinaldo is in the region of Eastern Visayas, Philippines. It is about 413 miles (or 665 km) South-East of Manila, the country's capital. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 17,331 people.
* Project Description: additional in-country flight needed
This is a two-week surgical and dental project with a mid-project break in between sites. Surgery and dental clinic will be conducted at a government facility. Both services are not readily available to the people due to the lack of adequate facilities and trained personnel. The project will address some crucial needs in these two localities.
211 m (692 ft.)
The climate is generally cool – the 20s centigrade.
Rains may come sporadically, mostly in the afternoon.
The above MMI surgical projects are both in island of Luzon, North Philippines. We will be serving the indigenous and trbial folks, and well as fishers and farmers in Aguinaldo. In most cases, surgical services are in short supply or beyond their available means. We do our best to fill in the gap with surgical services that the community needs.
* Project Description: The team’s presence encourages and trains the local hospital staff through fellowship and transfer of technology, specifically in surgical and nursing skills.
10 m (33 ft.)
On average, the temperatures are always high.
Leyte is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Tacloban City and occupies the northern three-quarters of the Leyte Island.
* Project Description: Usually, the team is divided into 2 surgical teams. The 1st team is led by Dr. Melicor and works the first week at the Leyte Baptist Hospital in Hilongos, Leyte, and the second week in Palawan. The 2nd team is led by Dr. Obregon and works the first week in a town an hour away from Hilongos, and the second week in Iloilo.
59 m (194 ft.)
On average, the temperatures are always high.
Tboli & Palawan
Tboli is a tribal village, mainly made up of Tboli people. They once lived as nomads and itinerant farmers but they have since settled in this village for the past 30+ years. Some villagers live in far off mountainous communities. It usually takes them a day of walking to reach the site of the surgical project.
Roxas, Palawan is at the northern part of the province of Palawan. This province is at the western side of the Philippines. The town of Roxas is largely a fishing and farming community. Many patients live in poverty in the town as well as around the surrounding areas. They are normally able to take care of their basic needs, but such expensive procedures such as surgery are often times beyond their financial reach, especially if they have to travel to the capital town of Puerto Princesa. We work to make surgery more affordable and accessible.
* Project Description: The Philippine surgical project in Tboli and Palawan will serve the indigenous and tribal folks as well as farmers and fishers. Surgical services are virtually non-existent in Tboliland and is in short supply or beyond their means among the people in Roxas, Palawan. MMI tries to fill in the gap with the surgical services that the community needs. The team’s presence also encourages and trains the local hospital staff through fellowship and transfer of technology, especially in surgical and nursing skills.
1,418 m (4,654 ft.)
On average, the temperatures are always high.
Travelling on a Project
Entry & Exit Requirements
Travelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. Departure tax of $550 Philippine Pesos (or equivalent USD) is required upon exit at Manila International Airport.Travel visa is not required for stays under 30 days. Proof of return or onward travel is required. If you have visited a country where yellow fever occurs, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required. For a list of countries please see:
• Americans: Must present a passport, which is valid at time of entry. For more information see the US State Department website:
• Canadians: Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements:
• International: Please contact MMI office or Raptim Humanitarian Travel for visa requirement if needed.
Please email ALL CREDENTIALS upon application, as these must go to the Project Director in the country to be translated and then taken to the Ministry of Health to get temporary licenses prior to your arrival.
• For everyone, we need:
- Colour Scan / Photocopy of Passport (photo page)
- Colour photo for your name badge (any good photo, we can adjust size)
- Travel Itinerary
- Supply Lists
• Medical Professionals, we also need your:
- Current License (through time of project)
- Diploma (Techs, Nursing, Dental, MD and Board Certifications)
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume (this also will help the Project Director know your skills & experience to assign you a task on the project, especially for 1st time participants)
• Health Care Students: Letter of Good Standing from your school (including year of study and graduation date).
• All MINORS travelling with only one parent, or without their parents, will need a letter from BOTH parents stating that it is OK for the child to travel with one parent or an appointed guardian. The letter should be signed and notarized. MMI needs a copy of this letter, and the parent or guardian should carry the orignial letter while travelling.
Once you have been accepted on the project, you can contact our designated travel agency to arrange your travel and coordinate your arrival the team.
Raptim Humanitarian Travel: www.raptim.org
• US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged directly with the travel agent and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “Serve Team 2”: ServeTeam2.firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct Toll Free: 1-844-882-3233 and ask for the agents by name or extension.
Lead Agents – Claudia (ext. 13302), or Michael (ext. 15004).
• Canadian Applicants: Donations to MMI for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “We Partner” team: email@example.com
905-465-4300 or Toll Free: 1-844-442-6978 & ask for the agents by name.
Lead Agents - Anca (ext. 32327), or Connie (ext. 31771).
• International Applicants: Travel arrangement can be procured locally or following the Canadian instructions above.
We strongly recommend that you consult a travel clinic, as they are aware of outbreaks and can suggest preventative immunizations. All routine immunizations should be up-to-date. Please check the following website for the most current information.
• Americans: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cambodia
• Canadians: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/countries-pays/country-pays-eng.php?id=382
Accomodations and Meals
MMI will arrange local accommodations for the team.
• Laundry Service: usually available for additional fee
• AC: dependent on location
• Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider, roaming is very expensive
• Wifi/Internet: dependent on locations
• Voltage: 220V (converter or adaptor required).
• Meals: MMI will provide meals for the team. Dietary restrictions can be indicated on your application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied. If you would like to bring snacks to have throughout the day, please bring items such as peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix or pretzels and crackers in sealable containers (like Ziploc bags).
• Language: Filipino, English and indigenous languages
- Catholic: 82.9%
- Muslim: 5%
- Evangelical: 2.8%
- Iglesia ni Kristo: 2.3%
- Others: 7%
• Government: Presidential Republic
The money in the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso (PHP). MMI staff will help you exchange money. All major credit cards are accepted - Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted (make sure to call your credit card company and let them know that you’ll be traveling internationally). Traveler’s cheques are not easily cashed. You must bring US dollars in good condition. Torn, stamped or old bills will not be exchanged. $100 bills older than 2006 are also not accepted.
The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935, the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel Quezon was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942, the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. In July 1946, the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. Benigno Aquino III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010, and in June 2016, Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the 16th and current president.
Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
13 00 N, 122 00 E
300,000 sq km
Malaysia in south-west, Indonesia in south, and Vietnam in west, Taiwan, and mainland China to the north
Irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea as wide as 285 nm
Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands
Philippine Sea - 0 m
Mount Apo - 2,954 m