Philippines - Transportation

About 14 percent of the 158,810 km (98,110 mi) of roads in the Philippines are paved in spite of the difficult mountainous terrain. In Metro Manila, there are many modes of transportation available. Buses, Jeepneys, LRT, and taxis are readily available for use in getting around the city.

Buses are available with air-conditioning or without. The prices for riding in air conditioned buses is about double what you would pay for riding without AC and use certain main routes. There are also charter bus lines available for those wanting to travel outside Manila.

The most popular mode of transportation in Manila is the Jeepney. As the name implies, it is basically a colorful jeep that looks like those used by the Americans during World War II. They have regular stops, as do buses, but will also stop if they are flagged down.

Taxis are air-conditioned and can be found practically anywhere in Manila. On occasion a driver will say his meter is broken; if so, traveler beware! It is time to get out and find another taxi, as you will probably get overcharged by this scam. If a person traveling to the Philippines wishes to travel by car, but not in a taxi, they can rent a car, but need to have a valid international driver’s license. For travelers staying in deluxe hotels, many offer limousine services.

The LRT (Light Rail Transit) is the best way to get downtown and get around in Manila. It's relatively inexpensive and is very fast.

In addition, the PRN (Philippine National Railways), run by the state, is also an option for those travelling out of Manila. Railroad tracks cover about 1,060 km (660 mi) of the Philippines, and are limited due to its being mainly on Luzon. An option for travelling between the islands is to use ferries.

For travelers not wishing to be on water, airline travel is another option since there are over 40 major provincial airports. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is just a kilometer from the Manila Domestic Airport and is about 7 miles from the center of Manila. NAIA also has many amenities from a medical clinic to banks and postal service in addition to duty-free shops, souvenir shops, tourist information centers and more. The airport in Cebu, Mactan International Airport (MIA), is about 45 minutes from the city's center and has duty-free shops, tourist information centers like the major airports in Manila.

Roughly a fourth of the airports in the Philippines have paved runways - out of 262 airports, 75 runways are paved. PAL, the Philippines Airlines, is the national air carrier and serves Manila with links to 12 cities in 7 countries. It also has daily routes to 17 local cities. Major airlines from other countries also serve Manila. In addition, Cebu has chartered flights from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

For chartered travel to smaller locations, there are several carriers available - Cebu Pacific, Asian Spirits, Mindanao Express Airlines, and SEAir, Incorporated.

Cruise ships are served by Manila, with inter-island ships connecting Manila to other major island ports. The busiest seaports are Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga which are a part of the 3,219 km of waterways and seaports.



  • International gateways

- Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila)
- Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Cebu City)
- Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao City)
- Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (Clark Special Economic Zone, Pampanga)
- Subic Bay International Airport (Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales)
- Puerto Princesa International Airport (Puerto Princesa City, Palawan)
- Laoag International Airport (Laoag, Ilocos Norte)
- General Santos International Airport (General Santos City)cargoes only
- Zamboanga International Airport (Zamboanga City)
- Iloilo International Airport (Santa Barbara-Cabatuan, Iloilo) connecting
- Bacolod-Silay International Airport (Bacolod City)connecting
- Laguindingan International Airport (Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor), Cagayan de Oro City (Under construction)
- Kalibo International Airport (Kalibo, Aklan)

  • Domestic Airports

- Loakan Airport (BAG) - Baguio City
- Lumbia Airport (CGY) - Cagayab de Oro City
- Tagbiliran Airport (TAG) - Tagbiliran City
- Cagayan de Sulu Airport (CDY) - Tawi Tawi
- Awang Airport (CBO) - Cotabato City
- Masbate Airport (MBT) - Masbate City
- Basco Airport (BSO) – Basco
- Sibulan Airport (DGT) - Dumaguete City
- Legazpi Airport (LGP) - Legazpi City
- Bislig Airport (BPH) - Bislig City
- Taytay Airport (RZP) – Taytay
- Godofredo P. Ramos Caticlan Airport (MPH) - Caticlan (Boracay)
- Busuanga Airport (USU) – Basuanga
- Puerto Princesa Airport (PPS) - Puerto Princesa City
- Roxas Airport (RSX) - Roxas City
- Labo Airport (OZC) - Ozamiz City
- Dipolog Airport (DPL) - Dipolog City
- Virac Airport (VRC) - Virac City
- Cauayan Airport (CYZ) - Cauayan City
- Calbayog Airport (CYP) - Calbayog City
- San Fernando Airport (SFE) - San Fernando City
- San Jose Airport (SJI) - San Jose
- Tacloban Airport (TAC) - Tacloban City
- Bancasi Airport (BXU) - Butuan City


  • Shipping Ports

List of ports in Philippines

- Port of Aparri
- Port of Balanacan
- Port of Bataan
- Port of Batangas
- Port of Bislig
- Port of Borongan
- Port of Brookes Point
- Port of Bugo
- Port of Butuan
- Port of Cagayan de Oro
- Calapan Terminal
- Port of Calbayog
- Port of Catbalogan
- Port of Cebu
- Port of Coron
- Port of Cotabato
- Port of Culasi
- Port of Currimao
- Port of Danao Escalante
- Port of Dapa
- Port of Davao
- Port of Dumaguete
- Port of Dumaguit
- Port of General Santos
- Port of Guihulngan
- Port of Iligan
- Port of Iloilo
- Port of Irene
- Port of Jimenez
- Port of Kalamansig
- Port of Larena
- Port of Legazpi
- Port of Lipata
- Port of Maasin
- Port of Manila
- Port of Masbate
- Port of Masinloc
- Port of Mati
- Port of Nasipit
- Port of Ormoc
- Port of Ozamiz
- Port of Palompon
- Port of Pasacao
- Port of Puerto Princesa
- Port of Pulupandan
- Port of San Carlos
- Port of San Jose Buenavista
- Port of San Jose, Carangian
- Port of Santa Ana
- Port of Santa Cruz
- Port of Subic Bay
- Port of Surigao
- Port of Tabaco
- Port of Tacloban
- Port of Tagbilaran
- Port of Tandayag
- Port of Tubod
- Port of Virac
- Port of Zamboanga


  • Local Transport

Motorcycles and tricycles

There are a growing number of individuals who can afford a nice motorcycle just for the daily trip between their work place and their home (or just for pleasure in the weekend). Still it’s only a very small number of individuals who can afford such a vehicle just for private use. Most motorcycles in the Philippines are used for serving as a kind of taxi. Most known names for these means for transportation: Tricycles and motor-taxi's. Both can be seen in many different forms and length.


The multi-cabs are normally not active on long distances. For local transportation and especially for transportation between villages or between villages and regional towns, they offer their services just as the tricycles do. The difference is that tricycle brings you exactly to the place you want. The number of multicabs grew especially in the last 10 years and became competitors of the tricycles on the short distances. The price doesn’t really make the difference. The price for a drive is about the same as you pay for a drive with a tricycle. Speed and a bit more comfort with the four wheel cars make the difference.


Buses are the typical form of transportation for the long distances on the islands. For instance from Manila to the northern part of Luzon or from Ormoc City on the west coast of Leyte to Tacloban on the east coast of the island. The comfort of buses varies widely.

The biggest difference is between air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses. Buses have both a driver and a conductor. The conductor collects money and hands out tickets. The conductor is also responsible for packing the bus with as many people as possible. That means that the bus will wait for as long as possible to have as many passengers as may be available.


Jeepneys are the most common form of public transport throughout the many islands of the Philippines. In Manila they are so numerous that there are almost constantly traffic congestions. The Jeepneys don't have air-conditioning. They have open windows. Most of the time the Jeepneys are packed with too many passengers. Jeepneys offer one of the cheapest ways of getting somewhere. They seldom have a special place to stop. The drivers will slow down enough to enable the passengers to jump on or out.


Most of the time Filipinos will take the boat to travel between islands in the Philippines. The relative short distances between islands and the price of the tickets make that understandable. For this reason even tourists will make use of the boat. Moreover, for tourists travelling by boat from one island to another, "island hopping", is attractive because it offers more possibilities to communicate with Filipinos and Filipinas.