Passengers that traveled by sea in the Philippine increased by 1.21 percent year on year in the first eight months of the year, bucking the decline in recent years. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported Wednesday that total passenger traffic as of August 2012 reached 34.32 million, most of them were domestic travelers. Despite the slight improvement in passenger numbers, the PPA said the presence of budget airlines continued to dent the growth of the local passenger shipping industry. "While there is some improvement in passenger volume, competition from budget airlines offering reduced promo fares continue to persist," the PPA said in a report. The PPA said budget airlines has encouraged more passengers to travel by air instead of sea transport. Cargo traffic was also up in the eight months, the PPA said, totaling 122.46 million metric tons or up 4.31 percent on year. Domestic traffic accounted for 47.8 million metric tons of traffic, while the rest is due to international traffic.