For the economy to attain its full potential, the Philippines requires an efficient water transport system. However, this is presently not the case. The domestic shipping industry is characterized by high costs, low quality of service, and a poor safety record. Logistics cost accounts for 24-53 percent of wholesale price, while shipping and port handling cost around 8 percent of wholesale price and 5 percent of retail price. Philippine domestic shipping is generally more expensive than in Malaysia or Indonesia, 2 other archipelagos. Moreover, it is more expensive to transport goods between 2 Philippine ports than between 2 Philippine ports via an international port. In the East Asia region, the Philippines trails behind its neighbors in various logistics performance and connectivity indices. For instance, in liner shipping connectivity, the Philippines ranked 66th out of 157 countries in 2013, and performs the worst among a group of East Asian comparators. Delays in shipment, slow cargo handling, and frequent accidents are the top complaints of businesses. In the East Asia Region, the Philippines has the highest absolute casualty rate and this is 40 percent higher than the second ranked country, Indonesia. On average, there are 228 ships involved in accidents and 303 casualties per year in the Philippines. In seeking to enhance competition in the delivery of domestic shipping services, this assessment has therefore focused particularly on measures that would increase the opportunities and incentives for new players to enter the market, and for existing operators to expand or vary the services they offer.
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