The sinking of the ferry MV Baleno-9 near the Philippine city of Batangas, which has left at least three dead and 22 missing, is the latest in a long list of shipping accidents across the Philippines. Millions of Filipinos, many of them too poor to afford air travel, use the seas and waterways to travel around the archipelago, on everything from massive steel-hulled ferries to wooden dugouts with outriggers.
But bad weather, particularly during the typhoon season, as well as poor maintenance, overloading of vessels and lax enforcement of safety regulations has often brought disaster.
Here is a list of shipping accidents in the Philippines over the past two decades:
December 26, 2009: Three people are confirmed dead and at least 22 others are still missing after car ferry MV Baleno-9 sinks after water enters the bow.
December 24, 2009: Four people are confirmed dead with 23 others still missing as the wooden-hulled Catalyn B with 73 people on board collides with a fishing vessel at the mouth of Manila Bay.
September 6, 2009: Nine people are killed after the Superferry 9 tilts sharply and then sinks near the southern city of Zamboanga.
May 2009: Wooden-hulled Commander 6 cracks open and sinks just south of Manila, leaving 12 dead.
December 2008: The ferry Maejan capsizes off northern Philippines, leaving 30 dead.
November 2008: Don Dexter Kathleen, small wooden-hulled ferry, capsizes in freak winds off the central island of Masbate, leaving 42 dead.
June 2008: The Princess of the Stars ferry sails into a typhoon and tips over near the coast of Sibuyan island off Romblon in central Philippines. Of the 850 on board, only 57 survive.
February 2004: Islamist militants firebomb Superferry 14 near Manila Bay, leaving 116 dead.
April 2000: The cargo vessel Anahanda, overloaded with passengers, sinks off the southern island of Jolo, Sulu, in southern Philippines. About 100 of the estimated 150 people on board die.
September 1998: The Princess of the Orient ferry sinks off Batangas City south of Manila. About 150 die.
December 1994: A Singaporean freighter hits the ferry Cebu City on Manila Bay, leaving about 140 dead.
October 1988: The Dona Marilyn ferry sinks off the central island of Leyte, leaving more than 250 dead.
December 1987: The Dona Paz ferry collides with an oil tanker off Mindoro island near Manila, leaving more than 4,000 dead in the world’s worst peacetime shipping disaster. –AFP