Philippines - Transportation

The total length of roadways in 2002 was 199,950 km (124,248 mi), of which only 39,590 km (24,601 mi) were paved. Luzon contains about one- half of the total road system, and the Visayas about one-third. There were 755,100 passenger cars (including jeepneys, or minibuses) in 2001, nearly half of them registered in Manila; there were also 579,800 commercial vehicles. In 2002, there were 897 km (557 mi) of common-carrier railroad track on Luzon and Panay, which only plays a minor role in transportation. There are 3,219 km (2,000 mi) of waterways, but their use is limited to vessels with a draft of less than 1.5 m (4.5 ft).

Water transportation is of paramount importance for inter- island and intra-island transportation. A small offshore fleet registered under the Philippine flag is engaged in international commerce, but most ocean freight is carried to and from the Philippines by ships of foreign registry. In 2002, the merchant fleet numbered 416 ships, totaling 5,179,029 GRT. There are 25 major ports. Manila is the busiest Philippine port in international shipping, followed by Cebu and Iloilo. Other ports and harbors include Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Guimaras Island, Iligan, Jolo, Legaspi, Masao, Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, Subic Bay, and Zamboanga.

In 2001 there were 275 airports, of which 82 had paved runways. Ninoy Aquino International Airport, formerly Manila International Airport, is the principal international air terminal. Five other airports serve international flights as well. Philippine Air Lines (PAL), the national airline, provides domestic and international flights. Under the Aquino government there were plans to sell PAL stock to the private sector. In 2001, 5,651,700 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

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