The archipelagic structure of Philippine marketing requires the establishment of regional centers and adds considerably to distribution costs, foreign domination of much of marketing, direct government participation, and the proliferation of small firms. About 90% of all imported goods come through the Port of Manila. Makati City is the business center of the country and hosts a number of distribution centers, trading firms, commercial banks, and high-end retail establishments. Cebu City is the trading center of the south.
Small stores typify retail trade. Manila has major shopping centers and malls. Generally, sales are for cash or on open account. Retailing is conducted on a high markup, low-turnover basis. A law provides for price-tagging on retail items. Direct marketing, particularly of foreign name-brand products, has gained in popularity. English is the general language of commercial correspondence. Most advertising is local; the chief media are newspapers, radio, television, posters, billboards, and sound trucks.
Shops are usually open from 10 AM to noon and from 2 to 7:30 PM , Monday through Saturday; banking hours are weekdays from 9 AM to 3 PM . Office hours, and hours for the Philippine government are generally from 10 AM to 5 PM . Staggered hours, with up to three shifts, are common in the metropolitan Manila area.